What Are Your Favorite Poems for the Classroom?

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by Obadiah, Apr 4, 2018.

  1. Obadiah

    Obadiah Groupie

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    Apr 4, 2018

    April is National Poetry Month, and I was wondering what are everyone's favorite poems for sharing in the classroom?

    I enjoy reading

    Casey at the Bat by Ernest Lawrence Thayer
    Somebody's Mother by Mary Dow Brine
    Poems (and humorous stories) by James Whitcomb Riley
    I can't forget good old Dr. Seuss
    Silly Song of States (see www.aprilgem.com blog on 2/18/2004) This was in one of my beginner piano books from when I was a kid and I'm still singing it.
    (I heard a discussion about song lyrics and poetry on NPR several years ago. Lyrics are a special form of poetry; not every poem can become a song. I recently read a book concerning songwriting that expressed how song lyrics need to be singable, match the music, but also contain the various elements of poetry, especially imagery).
    Song lyrics I especially like to share are Up a Lazy River by Hoagy Carmichael and Sidney Arodin
    Old Cape Cod by Claire Rothrock, Milton Yakus, and Allan Jeffrey
    Anything from the classic movie Hans Christian Anderson starrying Danny Kaye (Inchworm and Thumbalina are especially useful in math class).
     
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  3. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    Apr 4, 2018

    I have read Sign of the Seahorse to students from third to high-school seniors. The illustrations are sublime, the message on target without being preachy, and once you get into to flow of the rhyme, it is very pleasant to read. Students understand the context quite well, and there is just enough whimsy to actually be fun. One of my all time favorites, second only to Green Eggs and Ham.
     
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  4. Been There

    Been There Habitué

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    Apr 4, 2018

    I was never big on poetry - that is, until I showed this video to a class of underachieving second grade students. They were sooo motivated to learn to read Lord Tennyson's poems that I gave in and used them as a reward for completing their regular work. (I gave up using points, stars, treats, etc. long ago.) Contrary to what some skeptics may think, the children actually understood the poems and learned a tremendous amount of advanced vocabulary along the way. I highly recommend it! Just don't tell anyone because more than likely they wouldn't approve. :(
     
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2018
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  5. Been There

    Been There Habitué

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    Apr 4, 2018

    On second thought, this would make for an impressive board presentation when it's your school's turn to present and may even earn you some useful brownie points from your principal!
     
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2018
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  6. FourSquare

    FourSquare Fanatic

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    Apr 5, 2018

    "Oranges" by Gary Soto.
     
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  7. ms.irene

    ms.irene Connoisseur

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    Apr 5, 2018

    More for teachers than for students:
    Introduction to Poetry
    BY BILLY COLLINS
    I ask them to take a poem
    and hold it up to the light
    like a color slide

    or press an ear against its hive.

    I say drop a mouse into a poem
    and watch him probe his way out,

    or walk inside the poem’s room
    and feel the walls for a light switch.

    I want them to waterski
    across the surface of a poem
    waving at the author’s name on the shore.

    But all they want to do
    is tie the poem to a chair with rope
    and torture a confession out of it.

    They begin beating it with a hose
    to find out what it really means.
     
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  8. ms.irene

    ms.irene Connoisseur

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    Apr 5, 2018

    Why on earth would anyone not approve?
    Just curious, how did you make the leap from Billy Collins to Tennyson? I love them both but can't think of two more different poets :)
     
  9. miss-m

    miss-m Devotee

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    Apr 5, 2018

    There are videos of this kid reciting Tennyson too, maybe that's how?
     
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  10. ms.irene

    ms.irene Connoisseur

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    Apr 5, 2018

    Very cool!!
    I have my seniors recite poetry for the Poetry Out Loud nationwide competition -- I will show them that video to show them even a three-year-old can do it :)
     
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  11. rpan

    rpan Cohort

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    Apr 6, 2018

    It’s cliche but I had to study John Keats Ode to Autumn as a kid. My teacher was excellent, I just didn’t like poetry.

    Then I saw the movie Dangerous Minds where they made a connection between Bob Dylan’s Tambourine Man and Dylan Thomas’ Do not go gentle into that good night. Then I appreciated poetry because it was relevant. But it didn’t mean I could decifer Keats’ imagery any better, I just appreciated it a bit more.
     
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  12. Master Pre-K

    Master Pre-K Virtuoso

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    Apr 7, 2018

    April Rain Song
    BY LANGSTON HUGHES
    Let the rain kiss you.
    Let the rain beat upon your head with silver liquid drops.
    Let the rain sing you a lullaby.

    The rain makes still pools on the sidewalk.
    The rain makes running pools in the gutter.
    The rain plays a little sleep-song on our roof at night—

    And I love the rain.

    Fog
    BY CARL SANDBURG
    The fog comes
    on little cat feet.

    It sits looking
    over harbor and city
    on silent haunches
    and then moves on.
     
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  13. Master Pre-K

    Master Pre-K Virtuoso

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    Apr 7, 2018

    “You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You're on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who'll decide where to go...”
    Dr. Seuss, Oh, The Places You'll Go!

    I know it's not poetry....but what's not to like about Dr. Seuss???
     
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  14. runsw/scissors

    runsw/scissors Phenom

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    Apr 21, 2018

    When I taught 5th grade American history we always read "Paul Revere's Ride" by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. We read it, learned the vocabulary, talked about how the real events happened vs. how they're portrayed in the poem, and illustrated a story board of the poem. By the end of it all most of the kids knew the opening stanza and a few brave souls nearly memorized and tried to recite the whole thing I class. After this success I began having the students keep poetry folders and we read from them weekly. Louis Carroll's "Jaberwocky" was always a favorite as was "The Cremation of Sam McGee".
     
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  15. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    Apr 22, 2018

    Some of my favorites include Jabberwocky, The Raven, The Road Less Traveled, the Songs of Travel by Robert Louis Stevenson, and song lyrics like Tears in Heaven, and Blowing in the Wind. I also like doing Crossover by Kwame Alexander as a class read-aloud (just make sure to preview this one carefully... there are definitely two spots where the narrator hears his parents... um... you know), plus various Sharon Creech poetry novels.
     
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  16. Master Pre-K

    Master Pre-K Virtuoso

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    Apr 23, 2018

    Trees
    BY JOYCE KILMER
    I think that I shall never see
    A poem lovely as a tree.

    A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
    Against the earth’s sweet flowing breast;

    A tree that looks at God all day,
    And lifts her leafy arms to pray;

    A tree that may in Summer wear
    A nest of robins in her hair;

    Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
    Who intimately lives with rain.

    Poems are made by fools like me,
    But only God can make a tree.

    Harlem
    BY LANGSTON HUGHES
    What happens to a dream deferred?

    Does it dry up
    like a raisin in the sun?
    Or fester like a sore—
    And then run?
    Does it stink like rotten meat?
    Or crust and sugar over—
    like a syrupy sweet?

    Maybe it just sags
    like a heavy load.

    Or does it explode?
     
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  17. ms.irene

    ms.irene Connoisseur

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    Apr 23, 2018

    I totally disagree -- Dr. Seuss is definitely poetry!
     
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  18. Master Pre-K

    Master Pre-K Virtuoso

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    Apr 23, 2018

    You don’t like them
    So you say
    Try them, try them
    And you may

    “Green Eggs and Ham” by Dr. Suess
     
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