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Pamela J. Tonge
I will read poetry aloud to my students in small and in large group settings. I will encourage my students to select poetry books to read from the school library. Silent Sustained Reading (SSR) is a great time for students to read these books on their own. Literacy will remain a focal point throughout the instruction of this unit. Reading, verbal expression, writing, oral recall is just a few objectives contained in this unit. Many of the students that I teach are not great writers, but they express themselves well verbally. I will record many of their verbal responses on the blackboard or on chart paper. My students will use these responses later. Again, use what works best for complete comprehension of poetic expression with your students.
I will take a break from nursery rhymes and read "Ten -Second Rainshowers" Poems by Young People compiled by Sandford Lyne. It is a great collection of poems by young poets ages eight to eighteen. These poems will relate to my own students due to the similar and personal experiences they'll share. Another fun poetry book for my students is "Mrs. Cole on an Onion Roll" and Other School Poems by Kalli Dakos. This book is also fantastic because it's a collection of poems celebrating life in school. Building background and connecting to life experiences is part of the literacy focus. I will prepare my students to become great readers and writers of poetry.
Free Verse: these poems are without predictable rhyme, rhythm or length of line or stanza.
Lyric Poem: these are poems that express the poet's observations and feelings and often tell of the poet's personal experiences.
Couplet: two lines of poetry that rhyme, it usually has a distinct pattern of rhyme and rhythm.
Acrostic: It is a free verse poem. The first letter of each line, when read in a downward way, forms a word, usually the title and/or subject of the poem. I will do acrostic poetry by using adjectives to correlate with the letters in their first name.
Haiku: a form of poetry that developed in Japan. It is a three-line poem usually consisting of a total of seventeen syllable (5-7-5) sequence. It is a great skill to reinforce the use of syllabication in words. When I do haiku with my class, I will tell them that a haiku poem is unrhymed and has no rhythm. It sometimes captures nature as its subject or has a seasonal influence. A haiku should also suggest a strong thought and feeling.
Week 2-I will read the Writing Process for 5 minutes and then the students will write in their journals for 15 minutes. I will give my students a quick adjective assignment where they will need to use their language book. I will go over the assignment beforehand for understanding, and then we will correct it as a group. They will have an adjective homework assignment for that night. I will introduce Acrostic poetry to them. I will call on a student to tell me the definition of an adjective and I will record it on the blackboard. As an example of an Acrostic poem, I will select a cartoon character as the subject. Cartoon characters are fun to use because they're easy targets. I will write the characters name on the blackboard. For practice, I will tell my students to think of one adjective to place next to each letter of the characters name. This adjective must begin with the specific letter they are doing. If time allows, I will do this assignment again. By the third day of this lesson, my students will use their own names in as a personal form of Acrostic poetry.
Week 3- the students will do 15 minutes of journal writing and I will read the Writing Process for 5 minutes. Syllabication is a difficult concept for many students to truly grasp 100%. As a drill before I do Haiku poetry; my students will clap the number of syllables they hear in their names and other words. This drill will start as an individual exercise, but the entire class will do the clapping. An extra day may be used to teach haiku. I will write a few words on the blackboard and separated it to show the number of syllables. The 5-7-5 sequence in a haiku is shown to my students on the blackboard. It is essential to visually teach my students the ways of reading and writing poetry. Since three lines are used to complete this type of poem, I will have my students produce at least 3 nature related haiku poems.
Week 4- my students will continue journal writing for 15 minutes. They will keep their journals on their desk when writing their poems. The poems will reflect what comes from their journals. When my students write poems, it has to be original and use clear language. Journals help because the contents of them are original. Clarity will come through practice and through the writing process. I will tell students not to be too concerned about having good vocabulary. I will inform them that language in many poems is simple and plain language. It doesn't have to be complex. This will act as a springboard as I get into the next type of poetry, which is Free Verse poetry. It allows students to write poetry that is free of a set rhyme or rhythm. It does not have a predictable length, line or stanza. Free Verse poems are an extension of what my students write in their journals. By the fourth week into the unit, the students are responsive and eager poets. They may come with poems they create outside of class. They might be willing to share these writing samples-their poems! Many of my reluctant students will be able to share their poems to the world! I will read some aloud and some students will read their own poems. This is whole class participation - reading, writing and sharing expressions of poetry. Lyric Poems are very expressive poems. A few of my students may create some awesome lyric poems. I have tried lyric poems in the past. These poems are genuine observations of their inner thoughts and feelings.
Week 5-during this week, I will distribute a poetry packet to each student. This packet will contain assignments to reinforce previous skills on reading and writing poetry. These packets will contain a few samples of each poem studied during the previous weeks and the definitions. I will go over each page thoroughly with the entire class. I will pose a few questions pertaining to the assignment for comprehension purposes. I don't expect all of my students to complete the entire poetry packet during one class period. I will give them the entire week to finish it.
As I approach the end of this unit, my students will be better readers and writers through their own creativity and inner personal experiences. The poetic expression packet is a follow-up and a continuation of works in progress. I will continue to encourage and praise them for their efforts. While completing the packet, my students will refer to their journals, the six stages of the Writing Process, their language books, the library and the blackboard. Dictionaries will be used to spell-check words or to confirm some meanings to words.
Week 6-I will go over the poetry packets. I will read, discuss and go over all the exercises. I will give feedback and oral interpretations of the poems from the packets. My students will respond to the poems also.
On the second day of this lesson, my students will choose one of their favorite poems. They will create a visual illustration as it relates to their poem. Sixth graders still enjoy the art of drawing and coloring with crayons; it is nice outlet for them. On the last day of this unit, I will have the classroom decorated with individual and artistic poems. These colorful illustrations will be fantastic.
My students will be challenged to form two-line rhyming poems called Couplets. Couplets have a specific pattern of rhyme and rhythm. I will have my students write a four-line couplet. If their poems don't "fit"the precise model, that's o.k. Learn by doing is a great premise in this unit. This curriculum unit contains the necessary elements for my students to obtain and master each objective set forth. I will give homework assignments to my students in capitalization, punctuation and general knowledge grammatical usage. I will be quite satisfied with 99.9% mastery from all of my students.
Students apply a wide range of strategies to read, comprehend, interpret, evaluate, and appreciate. They draw on their prior experience, their interactions with other readers and writers, their knowledge of word meaning and of other texts, their word identification strategies, and their understanding of textual features (e.g., sound-letter correspondence, sentence structure, context, graphics)
Written Communication: Writing
Students will use the writing process to shape language in order to communicate their ideas and knowledge effectively.
I have just given you a few statements from the Literacy Standards Implementation Plan for New Haven Public Schools. I specifically referred to the 5-8 Contents and Performance Standard with Performance Description section. The plan addresses many more standards with more detail. Educators please review the literacy plan in your district and use it in conjunction with your school plan and/or mission statement before you implement this curriculum unit.
This curriculum unit is unlimited to its use because it could be applied to other forms and subjects of writing. I truly feel all students are capable of poetically expressing themselves in ways that they have yet to venture into. As educators, one of our many responsibilities is to give students ways to be explorers in their own right. Navigate your students through this unit and they'll discover the vast potential in which they have as writers and readers.
Ricardo J. Rodriguez
- Come to a place where I live
- where I play and have fun where I sleep
- and I eat.
- Come to a place where I feel
- depressed where I cry and where I think
- about all the good things that come.
- Come to a place where I love where
- I have a broken heart.
- Come With Me
- Tanika Simuel
- I use to be here but now I'm gone
- The days past while you have fun
- I might be gone but I know you
- Remember me in you heart
- You might think you're alone in the night but you are wrong
- Every time you cry I hear your
- Cry and I cry with you
- I hear you laugh and I get happy
- I look down from Heaven and wish
- I was with you
- But I am gone
- Yenarah Alvarez
- Lyric Poems
- When it rains outside
- I see little baby birds
- They all huddle up
- Charles Gardner
- The snow is falling
- It is getting very cold
- I think it's winter
- Chris Pittman
- When the clouds float by
- The sky gets light blue and gray
- Very beautiful
- Natasha Parker
- You are great you are special.
- You are my friend to the very end.
- You smell great.
- I wonder where we'll go.
- I hope it's fun.
- Hey you I smell buns.
- Do you like my coat?
- I like yours too.
- Let's go eat at Jimmy's and eat all the food.
- Patrick Falconer - Free Verse Poem
- I sleep when I'm tired,
- I sleep when I'm bored,
- I don't sleep on boards,
- When I sleep in my dream I'm in a house that creeks and shrieks,
- Then I started to speak Greek,
- Then I felt the light,
- I awoke with a fright,
- Sometime in my dream, I'm happy or sad,
- Sometimes when I wake I'm glad,
- So when I'm tired I sleep.
- Tyrome Stevenson - Free Verse Poem
- Cats are nice and furry
- My medium size cats name is Murry
- His nails are pretty sharp
- Thank you God he don't play the harp
- My little cat follows me along
- Now in the cemetery and gone
- Don't you hear it?
- I think I've heard his spirit
- I give him flowers
- I think about him for hours
- Cats are nice and furry
- My medium size cats name is Murry
- Yajaira Ferrer-Couplet
- Why am I bad?
- Why am I sad?
- Why am I mad?
- Why am I glad?
- Why am I happy?
- Why is my friend's hair nappy?
- Why is she so sloppy?
- Why does she like to copy?
- Why am I tall?
- Why do I hate playing basketball?
- Why do I have an attitude?
- Why am I so rude?
- Why do I like to eat?
- Why do I like to sleep?
- Why am I so greedy?
- Why do I hate Chef Boyardee?
- Adja Diarrassouba-4-stanza Rhyme
- I the Poet
- I'm an amateur poet, so they say,
- I ask them if I'm good, they say, "no way."
- But someday it will happen, Someday it will come.
- When I take the glory, In becoming number one!
- The people will love me, And then they'll see.
- That I'll be the best, That there ever will be.
- I will become a Poet! I will become the Best!
- I will be well known in both East and the West!
- When I'm all grown-up, everybody will see,
- That I am indeed the Best poet that there ever will be!
- Ricardo J. Rodriguez-Lyric
- Valentine Poem
- Valentine's Day is for love;
- Just like two little doves.
- If you love to dance,
- You'll love my romance.
- I like the love that's in a boy,
- Because all of that love brings me great joy.
- I really love dates;
- As long as we are mates.
- Nice men would give a flower;
- Nice women would give men power.
- If you give me a present;
- It would be so pleasant.
- We can write love letters to each other;
- But we just can't give it to our mother.
- I know that you boys like girls;
- So if that's the case, give them pearls.
- If you give me a pretty, stuffed bear;
- I know that you really, really care.
- Jessica Cameron-Couplet
I made up this Acrostic poem based on the cartoon character Bart Simpson.
- Acrostic Poem
This poem I created was inspired by "Wishes, Lies and Dreams" Teaching Children to Write Poetry by Kenneth Koch. This book is an excellent resource for beginning poetry with children.
- I Wish
- I wish I had more time to sleep,
- I wish I had gutters that keep.
- I wish my life were somehow less filled,
- I wish for a Zima that's really chilled.
- I wish for fewer payments, less stress,
- I wish for all my children the best.
- I wish I had more time to grow,
- I wish I had a big brother…ya know.
- I wish I could play the piano real well,
- I wish I could have that man, don't tell.
I want to share my feeling that poetry is fun.
I want my students to be involved in something they can relate to.
I want my students to write poetry that has a personal connection.
I believe as an educator that it's part of my job to give kids an environment where they can work and play while they're learning.
I believe as an educator that my students need to use their thoughts and knowledge to create something that will help them remember what they've learned.
I want my students to be proud of what they wrote and want to share it.
I believe that if my students work relates to their world, they will have a better chance of retaining it and they'll remember it.
This unit will help them read well, write well and spell well so they'll understand why it's important to do well later on in life.
They will be reading poetry that they write.
By the end of this unit, my students will be writing poetry on their own because they enjoy it. It's a new experience for them to have confidence in their own ability to accomplish something, to create meaningful work out of their own heads.
Kids often throw away their work because it doesn't have much meaning for them. I want my students to be able to share their poems with other students, family members and friends because they will have higher self-esteem when they are finished.
My goal is to give them the tools to build their own poems. I believe they will be excited and proud when they write about their inner thoughts, feelings and experiences. Anything kids do should have meaning and connection to where they live, their environment, what they know already and then they can be more responsive and learn better when they are in familiar territory. Most of what I teach in a year is rigid. I have to follow certain and specific guidelines for items that each child must be exposed to in an academic year, such as: literature appreciation, main theme, character analysis, interpretation of actions, metaphors, similes and other grammar fundamentals. Teaching these things are important, but this curriculum unit is the area in which I intend to teach and create freedom, play and make room for feelings.
When I teach this unit, I want to remember to use examples for my students like: "I know the fire is hot, because I burnt myself…I'll remember that."
Janeczko, Paul B., Scholastic Guide, How To Write Poetry, Scholastic Inc. 1999
Koch, Kenneth, Rose, Where Did You Get That Red? Teaching Great Poetry to Children, Vintage Books, a division of Random House, Inc. New York, 1990
Koch, Kenneth, Wishes, Lies, and Dreams-Teaching Children to Write Poetry, HarperPerennial edition 1999
McDougal, Littell & Company, Vistas in Reading Literature, Reading Poetry: Poems That Express Feelings; 1989 Pg. 80-95, Pg.370-387
Ciardi, John, "Doodle Soup", illustrated by Merle Nacht, Houghton Mifflin Company 1985-Thirty-eight poems mostly humorous, by well-known poets, children's poetry, American.
Cole, William, "Poem Stew", pictures by Karen Ann Weinhaus, Harper Trophy. A division of Harper Collins Publishers, 1981
Dakos, Kalli, "Mrs. Cole on an Onion Roll and Other School Poems", pictures by JoAnn Adinolfi, Aladdin Paperbacks. An imprint of Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing Division 1999-A collection of thirty-two poems celebrating life in school.
Florian, Douglas, "Bing Bang Bong", Puffin Books, 1994
Lyne, Sandford, "Ten-Second Rainshowers, Poems by Young Showers", illustrations by Virginia Halstead, Simon & Schuster 1996-A collection of poems about childhood, family, nature, and other subjects, written by young people ranging in age from eight to eighteen.
Mother Goose, "Silly People Rhyme", Publications International, Ltd.1996
Silverstein, Shel, "A Light In The Attic", Harper & Row, 1981
Silverstein, Shel, "Where The Sidewalk Ends", Harper & Row, 1974
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