Poetry Read Alouds

My all time favorite poetry read aloud books are Sharon Creech’s, Love That Dog and Hate That Cat. These two stories follow Jack  on his journey with poetry and the teacher Miss Stretchberry that pushes him along the way. It’s a story that kids and adults can appreciate, smile and learn from. On Sharon Creech’s website, you can find some good teaching resources for using both books!

Sharon Creech’s Love that Dog

and the sequel…

Sharon Creech’s Hate that Cat

Another fun poetry read aloud book is Zorgamazoo by Robert Paul Weston. This book was recommended by another 5th grade teacher. I did get to read the book, but didn’t get to read it to my kids. It’s a fun fantasy story written all in rhyme. It would go well during a poetry unit for upper elementary kids!

Here are some other good poetry resources!

Scholastic Poetry Site 

Poetry for People

Poetry Foundation

Online Poetry Classroom

Poetry Resources from NYC Department of Education

Do you have any good poetry read aloud books or resources that you recommend?

Poetry is back!

Poetry is definitely one of my favorite units to teach in reading and writing workshop. I love poetry because it is a nice refreshing break from writing literary essays and reading challenging historical fiction books. It is a unit where the students get completely immersed in poetry in both reading and writing. This week, we are launching our poetry unit in my class. I’m hoping to tweak this unit from the past, by using some of the suggestions and ideas from the 5th grade Curricular Plan for the Writing Workshop unit from Lucy Calkins.

Some of things that I like to do during this unit is have a poetry wall in my classroom. I just get a large sheet of colored paper that I put on the wall. I have the students write down poetry on the wall. They can write sentences, verses, complete poems, and even draw. It’s a wall to inspire them and others. It’s like poetry graffiti that is totally allowed.

Some other good ideas that are in the Lucy Calkins’ curricular plan is to start off with a class anthology of poetry. Usually I have them create a self portrait poetry anthology at the end of the unit, but it might be fun to have them doing a whole class anthology in the beginning of the unit as well.  I will brainstorm with my students this week on different possible topics we could do a class anthology on.

One of my personal goals for this poetry unit is to write more of my own poems and write in my writer’s notebook along with the kids. I would like to say in theory that I do that all year long, but that unfortunately doesn’t happen. So, I’m hoping to write more with my students in this unit and use my writing as an example of mentor text as well. So let the poetry begin…

Student Made Props Rocks!

It’s finally showtime for my fifth grade students! Today, we had our performance of Geology Rocks for the whole elementary school and besides a few small technology glitches it went pretty smoothly. I think the teachers had more fun enjoying some of the humor from the lines and songs! Tomorrow, we have the performance for the parents. 🙂

The props for the musical were all made by the students. We had the students make signs that said the name of the part and a picture of it. We worked with the art teacher, Rachel. She had them make the signs and our one big prop (a mountain) for the stage.

The art teacher had them use different mediums for the signs. Some were done with water colors, color pencils or thick crayons. The students then used black paper to cut out the words and glued them on top. Afterwards, I laminated them and hole-punched them on the top and put a string through it. Now, the students could hang them around their necks during the show.

For the rocks (igneous, metamorphic and sedimentary), they cut out signs in the shape of rocks and colored them. They came out really well too!

Thank you Ms. Rachel for all your help! We couldn’t have done it without you. We ❤ art.