Language Arts and Poetry
Language Arts lessons become more engaging when combined with a poetry activity.
I just had my students complete prepositional poems in small groups. Here is the one I used for an example:|
At the Beach
at the beach
amid many sunbathers
on my blanket
with my book
in the beautiful sunshine
is my favorite place to relax!
I had the kids work in groups of 4 or 5. They had to choose a topic and then each had to write a prepositional phrase then pass the paper along to the next student. After I edited these, I gave them chart paper and markers. They had to copy the poem onto the chart paper and illustrate it. They did a beautiful job on these! My favorite was from a BOY who did his own for extra credit:
At the Mall
at the mall
with my mom
near the dressing room
in the ladies...
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This year while reviewing nouns and verbs we did several things that were fun:|
*I put nouns cards in a bag-students reached in and had to act out that noun for the class to guess-in the beginning we said if it was a person, place, or thing
*I linked it with poetry by doing acrostics or stand up poems - after modeling how to-they each did a person, place and thing acrostic poem
*same as above for acting out
*taught them how to use a thesaurus to find vivid verbs
*we did verb poems- they thought of a person- mom, dad, fireman etc and then listd all the actions that that person could do.
ex. Mrs. Silva
after doing n and v, I had them draw a noun out of one...
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just did this with my sixth graders:|
put on some interesting instrumental music--i found some african drum music on itunes--have students draw on paper (i told mine NO concrete pictures--only abstract).
then have a gallery stroll--give every child set of tiny post-its--at each artwork, they write one (positive, school-appropriate) adjective to describe the art and post on BACK of art.
then students get their own and (1) make sure all are adjectives--if not, discard and (2) rearrange to make a poem--then rewrite. i gave my kids the option of adding A FEW other words to make statements. (in my example, i used only the adjectives, but i made the title: Life in the Big City)
another idea: give them magazines and have them cut out pictures and then give the pictures adjectives. (ad for hair product: clean, shiny, brown, short....)
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I just did action poems with my fourth graders but I'm sure you could do them as a shared writing with your grade 1's. They are easy and fun. Here is an example of an action poem:|
Dogs are for hugging after a bad day,
Dogs are for chasing when you're at play,
Dogs are for training which can be tough,
Dogs are for loving, you can't get enough!
Basically, you choose a topic and think of 4 action verbs with -ing endings. You rhyme the first two and the second two. When we did these, I modeled a few, we did parter readings of the ones I wrote. (They are good for practicing fluency!) Then, we brainstormed a list of topics. We did one together as a shared writing. Then, kids got with partners and wrote one as a team....
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I taught third grade for nine years and we always did a variety of things with writing. We did use journals. At the beginning of the year I did give them almost daily prompts. It helped me to get to know them better. Some sample prompts would be: After school I like to... The best field trip I ever took was... One thing I like to do with my family is.... I would encourage them to write at least a paragraph.|
And, yes, I tried to respond to them almost every time so that they could see they were writing to a "real" audience. One of my first assignments was to have them write me a letter and tell me about themselves. I always took the time to write back to them and pasted my letter under theirs in the journal. (It was rather time consuming--but went faster when I did it via computer and then "cut and paste" my...
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Too bad your unit focuses so little on writing. I did a unit for the first time last year with my third graders after spring break. I thought they'd be too tired of school to work very hard, but this unit was the highlight of my year. They wrote THE MOST creative, beautiful things and for the first time all year, I couldn't wait to come to school every day! I'll share what I did even though it's focused on writing. Each child ended up with a poetry booklet - the pages were the size of half an 8 1/2 x 11 sheet of paper. The first page told what a haiku was (the "formula" if you will), the second page was their written haiku. Third page was the definition of a cinquain, or diamonte, etc. followed by their work. Before we even started the unit, the children came up with lists of...
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Every Thursday for morning work I pass out a poem. They are to find something specific that goes along with what we are teaching at the time, or it could be a review. For example I have them circle verbs, underline adjectives, nouns, etc. I then have them color in the border and put it into their poetry notebook.|
Check out Shel Silverstein, Jack Prelutsky, poems in the Mailbox magazines, and there is also a book, I think it is titled A Poem a Day. Hope this helps.
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Also try autobiography poems. |
Brother of or Sister of
Lover of three different things
Who feels three different feelings
Who needs three different things and why
Who gives three different things the person
Who fears three different fears
Who would like to see three differenet things the person would like to see
Who lives a brief description of where the person lives
Add that to a baby picture and you have a board.
All about me brochures made out of construction paper. Students cut out different images from magzines and paste them on a piece of paper folded like a brochure. Each picture represents something about them and should have a caption. It's colorful and can be hung from the ceiling.
Heroes & Heroines we know... They can...
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My kids loved when i taught them about Onomatopoeia (NOt sure if I spelled it correctly). It is a poetry technique where the author used words that actually sound like a sound effect. I tolk kids to think about comic books. They read WHAM! and what other sound effects do they recall? I started by brainstorming on the board, then asked them to choose one example of Onomatopoeia and illustrate it as if it were to appear in a comic book. I only gave them a small half page to so it in, but it also had to be colourful and designed to represent the sound it makes. (warm up)|
Next, I introduced the idea of water sounds. We talked about what it might look like to have a shape poem about water too. (I made one of water going in circles as it heading down the drain for them...
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In my opinion, we need to immerse our students in poetry. They need to be reading it, writing it, listening to it, reciting it, and transcribing it. In fact, just this year I've started doing a weekly Poetry Transcription with my 4th graders. Each of my students have a folder set aside only for poetry. Once a week, I choose a poem to read aloud to them and they transcribe the poem. On the first reading, they are just listening. On the second reading, they transcribe. I tell them exactly how to arrange each stanza, where line breaks are, how to spell each word, where to punctuate and capitalize. The third read, they follow along as I read the poem again. They love doing it. Not at first, but it has grown on them. While doing this activity, I'm teaching listening skills, trust, literary elements, rhythm,...
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