Poetry Cafe

Well, all good things must come to an end… and our poetry unit is no different. Every year, at the end of her poetry unit, Jee Young holds a poetry cafe (as mentioned previously here). This year, I was super excited for it because she asked my class to be a part of it! The event was held in our school auditorium and it started with all the fifth grade students on stage, reciting poems to the audience. It was incredible to see so many students on the stage performing poetry pieces that they had memorized by heart.

After that, my students joined their book buddies, and one by one (or… should I say, two by two) they recited the two-voice poems they had been working on for a couple of weeks.

The idea of getting on stage with their book buddy, and reading into a microphone, was so significant for my students. What a great way to feel accomplished! After the two-voice poems, every fifth grader got on stage and recited a poem they had written during the unit.

The other second grade teacher and I were so inspired by the event, we are hosting a mini-poetry cafe with our students next week! We are going to bring a microphone into the classroom, invite the parents, and have our publishing party in that style.

Oh, and what I loved most about the fifth grade poetry cafe is when the two fifth grade teachers got up and recited an inspiring two-voice poem they wrote for their students! Talk about a tear-jerker.

Here is what the stage looked like:

Do you have any great ideas for a publishing party? Please share! 

p.s. Oh, and I had an amazing birthday last week!!! I especially loved my personalized stationary— Jee Young is awesome!

Reading/Book Buddy Activity for… you guessed it: Poetry!

I don’t know where you are in the world, but here in Korea, the weather has been gorgeous! Which makes writing poetry that much more fun. Last Friday my students headed up to Jee Young’s classroom to meet with our fifth grade book buddies (also called reading buddies, your choice!). Jee Young and I decided that since we are both teaching a unit on poetry, it would be fun to have our students write a poem together.

(This is one of my student’s checking out Jee Young’s Classroom’s Poetry Corner with her book buddy.)

The fifth graders always hold a Poetry Cafe, and at the end of their unit they invite the elementary school to come and listen to them perform poems that mentored and inspired them, as well as poems they wrote. This year Jee Young thought it would be great if our book buddies wrote a two voice poem together and performed at the Poetry Cafe. I was so impressed by some of the poems our students wrote together last Friday!

Here is an example of a two voice poem that Jee Young’s students taught to mine: Fireflies by Paul Fleischman.

What are some things you do with your book buddies? Any creative ideas for us? Please share!