Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Poetry Tool #2- Musical Language- Part A

Welcome back to Post #3 in this series of Poetry Lessons in my classroom. If you missed the first post, you may want to start HERE and then catch up. If not, well, that's okay too. :)

     The first week of the unit was spent introducing poetry, reading LOTS of poetry books together and individually, and doing "poetry hunts". I only have all my classes four days a week. We have 1/2 day Friday every week, and so I only keep my homeroom class (my 6th graders) on that day. So I am teaching poetry 4 days a week right now. Thursday of the previous week was when we really hit Tool #1- Rhythm and Repetition. I actually spread that over two days as I was looking at my lesson plans. We spent a lot of time practicing and reviewing.

Monday of this last week, I started on Tool #2 and I had, what I hoped was, an amazing game plan. I would Use this format (This is from my on-line plan book):

-Correct Homework
-Review Tools- 
=Rhythm: Repetition and Beat
-Write a poem that has rhythm and repetition about winter
Do one together
---Snow is falling, falling, falling
---Drifting, drifting, drifting down
---Kids are laughing, sledding, building snowmen
---Kids are falling, crashing, creating snow angels.

=Students write a definition in their journals: Words that sound like the actions or sounds they represent
==Onomatopoeia Brainstorm sheet list as many as possible on each line. Work with your partner. (3-5 minutes)
==Share with class (call on several students)

--Practice Porch Light Poem
--If you still have time, hand out the homework, read over the poem and discuss

HW: Youth, I Do Adore Thee! Underline the COMMON NOUNS.

I decided that to really ingrain it in their brains, I needed to do a review the next day and then assign a poem that would allow for practice of the previous days topic. We reviewed the Snowflake Souffle poem, read it together, in a round (works PERFECTLY for that), and then we talked about where all the nouns were located. I still find it troubling that some many of my students- all grades- can not identify a noun, I will be making a nouns review game/activity soon to help with that.

After we reviewed the homework poem, we reviewed how Tool #1- Rhythm (beat and repetition) is vital to poetry. Then, I modeled a poem for them that included repetition  I am FAR, FAR from a poet, but it was fun to share an example with the class. 

Mine was this:

Snow is falling, falling, falling
Drifting, drifting, drifting down
Kids are laughing, sledding, building snowmen
Kids are falling, crashing, creating snow angels.

As a class we decided that the ending of the last two lines didn't quite work with the rhythm and beat. We took off "snowmen" and "snow angles" and that seemed to help. So we decided on this:

Snow is falling, falling, falling
Drifting, drifting, drifting down
Kids are laughing, sledding, building
Kids are falling, crashing, creating.

Then I asked the students to write a poem with rhythm and beat about winter. I thought some of them were going to have a heart-attack. But, after I quieted the terror and whining, they settled down and started to write.  Here a few of the students poems:

 I had several students share their work with the class and show it under the document camera. We were able to talk about poetic form, etc. It was a great discussion tool and many students found that they had an inner poet they didn't know existed. 

This sample below is from a student who was VERY hesitant and resistant to trying. I coaxed and cheered until the student finally gave it a try. I think the results are amazing. This student even used a tool we hadn't really addressed yet- onomatopoeia. An avid hunter, this student wrote about something he/she could relate to: Duck Hunting!

So, after we had a good share time, we moved on to Tool #2- Musical Language. I tied this to the 6-traits of writing's Word Choice trait. 

Students wrote this on the "next clean page" in their journals and we proceeded. 

I was excited to teach Part A of this tool. It has three parts that will be separate posts. Part A is Onomatopoeia This is such a FUN, FUN tool of any writing, not just poetry. Thankfully, The Write Genre book had some fun ideas, but a majority of my lesson came from a unit I had purchased on Teachers Pay Teachers by the Peanut Gallery. Teaching Onomatopoeia: Creative Activities for the Classroom (Common Core) is totally worth the $$$! Regardless of what you use, you will want to do many activities to get the kids excited. This lesson by FAR had the most participation. The kids loved making all the "sound effects" that came with the activities. We used one of the pages from the above kit as part of their homework, Onomatopoeia Brainstorm. The students were put in groups for a few minutes to get started, and then they were to finish at home. I told them they would want to finish their assignment because they would need it for tomorrow's poem writing.

We again ended by getting out all the poetry books and  searching and searching for examples. The kids LOVED sharing the little snippets they found.

As class ended, I went over their assigned homework poem. I choose, "Youth, I Do Adore Thee!" from William Shakespeare. The students thought it was a odd choice, but the strange rhythm and the obvious repetition made it an easy choice. 

And so ended another success class session about poetry. 

WAHOO! I am LOVING this unit.

Check back soon for the next post in the series. I will be sharing my lesson Tool #2- Musical Language Part B- Invented Words.



  1. Seems I missed this lesson because I was forgotten. I'm glad you areposting these posts. I definitely need to invest in this book. See you in class. Mrs. E :-)

    1. We are very glad to have you join us each week! Thanks for doing so.

  2. Thanks so much for the kind shout out, my friend. I am happy the units in my Figurative Language Bundle are coming in handy. Thanks again for sharing all of your poetry ideas! :)


Thanks for sharing your thoughts...

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.

You Might Also Like Reading These:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...