Monday, April 22, 2013

Journey into Poetry Land- The Final Post (Post #11)

Welcome back to my blog post series: Journey into Poetry Land. This is post #11 in the series. Post #1 is on the All Things Upper Elementary collaborative blog of which I am a contributor. Read it by clicking HERE. The rest are here on my own blog. Just search for "Journey into Poetry Land" on the left side in the search box! And now... on to post #11!

I must say that I have been bad about finishing this series, and I truly apologize for that. 
I will bring this series to a close in this post, so it will be a summary for the final days of this month long study.

After we studied cinquain, we also studied Haiku:

Limericks, Acrostic, and Shape Poems were the last three forms we covered. AND, sadly, I can NOT find a single one of my pictures for these different forms. We spent at least one day on each form, however, and the students were shown mentor text examples. Then I would model for the students how to write in that form and then they would write 2-3 of their own examples.

I LOVED IT! And more importantly, THEY loved it!

Then, as a break in the routine, I decided we were going to do a poetry graffiti wall. I took some large sheets of paper, held them to the brick wall in the hallway, and using a brown crayon, did a rubbing of the brick in several spots. It looked really cool and the kids enjoyed choosing their FAVORITE POEM from our study to add to the wall. I had 6 sheets of paper and had my 60 students each write their poem. There were some interesting poems, for sure. I have watched many students spend an entire recess standing in front of the poetry wall reading and laughing.

Before I started my final project, I noticed that my students needed a review of all the forms.
Because students were getting them mixed up and and weren't using their journals to help them (or didn't have complete notes), I created 6 stations- one for each poetry form we had covered. The students spent one entire class period rotating through them and simply writing poems. For each station, I had a outline of the form they were to practice and an example. Then we rotated every 10-12 minutes so they got to go through each station.

This was a MUCH NEEDED break from "learning" and an opportunity to "do" and "try". Many students expressed how nice it was to not worry about learning another form, but to simply practice, practice, practice what we had already covered!
Was it perfect? Of course not. Many students still struggled with the different forms, but it was nice to go from station to station to help them try to learn the form.

After all the review, the poetry graffiti wall, and stations, my students were ready for the final project and assessment of this 6 week study. I created the Poetry Anthology project for my kiddos to do.
It was over 20 pages for poems. They had to "collect" 10 mentor poems and write them in their anthology. Then they had to write 10 NEW poems (some assigned, some selected). They had to create a table of contents and they also had to have a sources page at the end. 

Can I just say WOW! I made a grading rubric that fit our school grading procedures and with the help of my team, we graded all 60 anthologies in less than two hours. I will TOTALLY do this unit again, but I will change up the forms and let them try out 6 NEW forms next year.

and THAT is what I call a successful journey into poetry land! YEE HAW!

I did end up creating a kit with all the major "stuff" from this unit. You can check it out HERE (or by clicking on the picture)

Cheers and Happy Teaching!
-Mr. Hughes

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