To piggyback off of Jee Young’s post, I thought I would share what I do during my poetry unit. I love, love, love, it when it is time to write poetry!
To kick off the unit I give my students a poetry notepad that they get to design, I purposefully make it long and skinny to help the students create line breaks. Here are a few examples of my students’ notepads from last year:
I love how each student’s is so unique (some of my students used three our four notepads throughout the unit!).
Since it is unrealistic to expect a child to write poetry for thirty to forty-five minutes, my teaching partner and I created centers. First, we have our mini-lesson (courtesy Lucy Calkins), and then we slowly introduce centers. For the first week, I explain a different center every day, or every other day. As the unit goes on, they are required to do each center a certain amount of times each week, along with their writing time.
I am including a few of the centers we do:
“Missing Titles“- Students read a poem with the title missing and have word bank of titles to choose from.Click on the title for the link to the poems I use!
“Line Breaks”- Students are given a poem in paragraph form, they get the chance to create their own line breaks, and then they rewrite the poem. Here are a couple of examples: Beavers in the Bathroom,Hammock,Broccoli for Breakfast,Wavy Hair, and Shaking.
“Visualize the Poem“- At this center, students read a poem and then draw a picture of the poem. Simple! The link is to the poems that I use.
“List Poem”- at the beginning of the poetry unit have each student bring in a random object from home (anything from an old watch, to a stuff animal, to a Pokemon card). Keep these objects in a basket, and allow students to look through the basket to create a list poem.
I also have a center where students can read poems to each other, practicing how to read a poem.
Here is a poem that I love to use when I start of my unit (poet’s look at everyday objects with fresh eyes), thanks to Lucy Calkins!
by Zoe Ryder White
I think there are a hundred bees
inside the pencil sharpener
and they buzz
until my point
Do you have a center you love to use during your poetry unit? SHARE!