Poem of the Week

For years, one of the highlights of my class was the Poem of the Week.  Working on fluency, as well as countless oral language standards, the students would memorize a poem each week.  Since most of my students each year are primarily English Language Learners, practicing their oral language skills was such an important thing for them.

teachinginroom6.blogspot.com     Teaching in Room 6
Each Monday, a new poem would be displayed on the pocket chart.  The poems were never more than 10 lines...simply because the pocket chart only had 10 slots.  ;)   The students would copy the poem into their Poetry Journals, and we would set about the task of beginning to memorize the poem.  The students would learn the meter of the poem, the rhythm, and the tone on this first day.  We would also discuss pronunciation/meanings of difficult words.  This would take all of 10 minutes to do.

upper grade blog   5th grade
On Tuesday through Thursday, we would begin by determining the rhyme scheme, learning various poetry terms and traits that were evidenced in the poem, and discussing the author's message.  All of this was done with the standards in mind, so I would make sure to choose poems containing the right skill set.  After the discussion, we would continue to try and memorize the poem.  For example, the poem that is to the right has a good discussion on author's purpose.  What did the poet mean when he wrote it?  How does it relate to my own life?  What did the poet intend for me to feel when reading the poem?  It also lends itself well to a discussion on summary.  Taking the entire Alice in Wonderland story, how was it summarized here?  What are the important points?

Friday's were always reserved for the recitation of the poem.  The poem would be taken down, then, table by table, the students would stand up and recite it.  For my mostly EL class, this was a great time for them to practice their oral language.  They also really enjoyed performing!
4th grade
Here is the form I used to have the students write the information down.  It really is simple.  I would hole punch them and use one of the pronged folders to keep them in.  That way, each week, the kids could just add this in.  At the end of the year, they had a portfolio of about 30 poems!




I would recommend these books to get you started with the poems.  They all had a variety of poems in them that were engaging enough for the students, yet academic enough to fit my purposes.

The Random House Book of Poetry for Children
 Random House Treasury of Best-Loved Children's Poems (Random House Poetry Treasury)
Shel Silverstein and Jack Prelutsky are also great.

Have you used poetry to help the students practice fluency? Please share your routine with us!



19 comments

  1. LOVE it! Thanks for sharing. I started weekly poems this year and use task cards, but I like the worksheet to go with the poems for them to keep in their binders! Much appreciated!

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    Replies
    1. What type of task cards did you use?

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  2. What an excellent idea!! I have been trying to think of ways to incorporate poems into my comm arts class more.

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  3. Great idea! I'm starting a poetry lesson to grade sixes so I can really use what you've posted :) Thanks for sharing!

    I'm the newest follower of your blog, a student teacher starting my first practicum in two weeks! I would love it if you could visit my site and follow me back!

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    Satya

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  4. We are learning about the respiratory system. I have a rather long poem that tells about it; we read it through together, then highlight the words/syllables that are emphasized. We practice it many times and then perform it for the music teacher. The kids are working on fluency, science, poetry, and rhythm all in one activity!

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    Replies
    1. Ohh, great connection to science! We are also learning about the respiratory system. Care to share the poem?

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  5. I am so in love with this. I tried a few poetry things this year and the kids LOVED THEM but I felt like I couldn't keep everything straight so that was something I let go... but next year when I will be a second year teacher (YEAH) I think I am going to for real do poetry!

    Marvelous Multiagers!

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    Replies
    1. Yay for your second year!!! Whoo hoo!!

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  6. Oh, I'm soooo glad you posted this. I need this for next year. It's perfect for Common Core. I will pin when Pinterest starts working again. (Grrr..) Thanks!

    Selina

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  7. What a great post Steph!!! Poetry is def. something I don't get to throughout the year. I had a hard time with it as a kid too and I guess I shy away from it as a teacher. I plan to create a fun poetry unit this summer to really get the kids to love it and understand it. Thanks for the great resources!!!

    ❤ Mor Zrihen from...
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  8. Do you have one that's been filled in just to give an idea of what a completed form should look like? I love this! Thank you so much!

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  9. This might be a strange question, but where do you find all of the poems that you use? Are you searching out a new poem each week or is there a handy dandy book you go to? :)
    Julie
    Light A Fire in Third

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  10. As a primary teacher, I've been doing pocket chart poetry for several years. I also make a copy on the poem on a 8 by 11 sheet of paper, then cut up the poem for the kids to reassemble. I like the idea of them copying it first though. What a great idea, and I can use it as a handwriting practice (since I'm in first), and have them illustrate it for a comprehension check. Thanks for the ideas to bounce off of.

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  11. I know this is an older post, but I have found it very helpful to me in wanting to do my own poem of the week. I just posted about it today and would love any feedback you can give, especially since this is something you already have done. I teach 2nd, but am hoping you might still have some advice for me :) Thank you for sharing such awesome ideas here! :)

    Amanda
    Reaching for the TOP!

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  12. I love this! Last year I had two weeks to study poems but this is so much better. Thanks for sharing!

    Sarah
    Teaching Star Students

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  13. EQUIPMENT
    by Edgar A. Guest

    Figure it out for yourself, my lad,
    You've all that the greatest of men have had,
    Two arms, two hands, two legs, two eyes
    And a brain to use if you would be wise.
    With this equipment they all began,
    So start for the top and say, "I can."

    Look them over, the wise and great
    They take their food from a common plate,
    And similar knives and forks they use,
    With similar laces they tie their shoes.
    The world considers them brave and smart,
    But you've all they had when they made their start.

    You can triumph and come to skill,
    You can be great if you only will.
    You're well equipped for what fight you choose,
    You have legs and arms and a brain to use,
    And the man who has risen great deeds to do
    Began his life with no more than you.

    You are the handicap you must face,
    You are the one who must choose your place,
    You must say where you want to go,
    How much you will study the truth to know.
    God has equipped you for life, but He
    Lets you decide what you want to be.

    Courage must come from the soul within,
    The man must furnish the will to win.
    So figure it out for yourself, my lad.
    You were born with all that the great have had,
    With your equipment they all began,
    Get hold of yourself and say: "I can."
    Submitted by wmknapp55@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete


  14. EQUIPMENT
    by Edgar A. Guest

    Figure it out for yourself, my lad,
    You've all that the greatest of men have had,
    Two arms, two hands, two legs, two eyes
    And a brain to use if you would be wise.
    With this equipment they all began,
    So start for the top and say, "I can."

    Look them over, the wise and great
    They take their food from a common plate,
    And similar knives and forks they use,
    With similar laces they tie their shoes.
    The world considers them brave and smart,
    But you've all they had when they made their start.

    You can triumph and come to skill,
    You can be great if you only will.
    You're well equipped for what fight you choose,
    You have legs and arms and a brain to use,
    And the man who has risen great deeds to do
    Began his life with no more than you.

    You are the handicap you must face,
    You are the one who must choose your place,
    You must say where you want to go,
    How much you will study the truth to know.
    God has equipped you for life, but He
    Lets you decide what you want to be.

    Courage must come from the soul within,
    The man must furnish the will to win.
    So figure it out for yourself, my lad.
    You were born with all that the great have had,
    With your equipment they all began,
    Get hold of yourself and say: "I can."
    Submitted by wmknapp55@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete


  15. EQUIPMENT
    by Edgar A. Guest

    Figure it out for yourself, my lad,
    You've all that the greatest of men have had,
    Two arms, two hands, two legs, two eyes
    And a brain to use if you would be wise.
    With this equipment they all began,
    So start for the top and say, "I can."

    Look them over, the wise and great
    They take their food from a common plate,
    And similar knives and forks they use,
    With similar laces they tie their shoes.
    The world considers them brave and smart,
    But you've all they had when they made their start.

    You can triumph and come to skill,
    You can be great if you only will.
    You're well equipped for what fight you choose,
    You have legs and arms and a brain to use,
    And the man who has risen great deeds to do
    Began his life with no more than you.

    You are the handicap you must face,
    You are the one who must choose your place,
    You must say where you want to go,
    How much you will study the truth to know.
    God has equipped you for life, but He
    Lets you decide what you want to be.

    Courage must come from the soul within,
    The man must furnish the will to win.
    So figure it out for yourself, my lad.
    You were born with all that the great have had,
    With your equipment they all began,
    Get hold of yourself and say: "I can."
    Submitted by wmknapp55@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  16. I LOVE this!! I was looking for a way to incorporate more poetry in class and this is perfect! What are some of the specific traits you study?

    ReplyDelete

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