Saturday, May 26, 2012

Our Poet-Tree

photo of Poet-Tree bulletin board @ Runde's Room
I LOVE our Poet-Tree outside our classroom.  With a short week, and a day and a half of our school Track and Field Meet, I didn't have a lot of time to get it put together.  But I did, and it's up, and it's FABULOUS!  (just need to add a few more tissue paper leaves)  My students want me to add a squirrel head and paws coming out of the knot on the tree ... I think I'll have to oblige - such a cute idea!



We've been hard at work on our poetry portfolios lately - and we will continue to add to them next week in between our TESTING!  Yep - it's testing week next week.  My grade 6 students will have 6 hours of testing (well, 6 testing booklets - they can actually have as much time as they need).  We stretch this out over the week, so most days they will only have one booklet, and I'll squeeze that last booklet in on a day when they seem particularly on task (fingers crossed we actually have a day like that).

OK - back to poetry.  We've added 5 published poems to our poetry portfolios - and the students couldn't be prouder of their published work.

photo of I Am ... poem @ Runde's Room




We started with biography poems - there are many "I Am ..." templates available on the internet.  I like starting with a simple template for my students (who may be a little scared of poetry) to experience success.
photo of Haiku poem @ Runde's Room




We then moved on to Haikus.  The students had a lot of fun creating Haikus with my magnetic poetry kits.  Once they had a poem they liked, they published that version for their portfolios.  Because the Haikus are so short, I asked them to add an illustration to their published copies.
photo of Emotion poem @ Runde's Room



We wrote Emotion Poems after studying figurative language in poetry.  These poems are full of similes and metaphors.  I was so impressed with the raw emotion expressed in this poem.  This was written by one of my boys - a boy who often experiences anger "issues".  He is not a fan of writing, but was so proud of this poem when he finished it.
photo of If I Were In Charge of the World poem @ Runde's Room


This is another template poem - adapted from Judith Viorst's "If I Were In Charge of the World".  We looked at a few different versions (on youtube) and discussed the each author's point of view.  We also inferred what the author was like - gender, age, interests, etc.  Such a great activity.  The students then wrote their own copies to be published.









photo of free verse poem @ Runde's Room

Because the students are working at their own pace to edit and publish their poems for their portfolios, students who have finished all the poems so far had the opportunity to write a free verse poem.  No rules ... just write.  I plan to do this again at the end of this week.  Students who were scared to write free verse at the beginning of our unit, are now excited to write (and share) their very own poems.








photo of Poetry Learning Goals and Success Criteria @ Runde's Room



And, because any work we display has to have the Learning Goals and Success Criteria posted, I have this little paper in the upper corner of our Poet-Tree board.  We co-created the Success Criteria as a class.  The students will use this success criteria when they complete a "Glow and Grow" self-reflection on their work.







If you're scared of teaching poetry, or in need of a few simple templates and ideas, here is a link to a site I found many years ago when I first started teaching:  30 Days of Poetry.  I still use ideas from this resource when I'm looking for a quick and easy template for the students to complete.

Do you have any sure-fire winners for poetry in your classroom???  I'd LOVE to hear some of your ideas - I'm always looking for new resources and ideas to add to my bag of tricks!

16 comments:

  1. Your poet tree is just lovely!!!! Can't believe you pulled it off i such a short time. The poems are super cute! I love you glow & grow posters!

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  2. Regie Routman has a series of great poetry books separated by grade. I think they are called Teaching ____ Graders to Love Poetry. I find them very helpful! My favorite poetry project this year, was The Best Part of Me. It is loosely based on a book of the same name and students write about the best part of them.

    Laurie
    Chickadee Jubilee

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    1. I haven't heard of the books by Regie Routman - I'll have to check them out! Thanks! LOVE the idea of the students writing a poem about the best part of them (and I bet the parents love it, too!)

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  3. Love your tree!
    Rose, Where Did You Get That Red is pretty interesting, and Valerie Worth is great because she focuses on details about something.
    I also like to read Love That Dog by Sharon Creech - the student in the book reads poems and writes his own using them as models, so you can do similar poems with your kids. It's a great, simple book.

    Buzzing with Ms. B

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    1. Thank-you! Oh my goodness - I totally forgot about Love That Dog - I've got it in my bookshelves. I LOVE Sharon Creech (Walk Two Moons is one of my favourite read alouds).

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  4. Thank you for the 20 Days of Poetry link. I love it!!

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    1. You're quite welcome - it has shortened a bit in the 12 years since I downloaded it. It used to be 30 days (I'm sure that version is still out there somewhere).

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  5. My guys loved to do limericks this year. I was a little worried (you know, There once was a man from Nantucket.....), but they were quite creative. They also loved shape poetry too. Good luck with the testing. My sixes finished this past Friday. It's the grade 3's turn next week. We plan on taking a little mental break Monday to make egg droppers.....

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    1. Hee hee - I think I'd be worried about the limericks, too. Shape poetry is in my upcoming plans. YAY for you being done testing - enjoy that well deserved mental break!

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  6. what i love is how you tied in internet, poetry, fiction and point of view plus peer assessment, inferring for voist "If i could charge the world" BRILLIANT!!!!, I also use georgia heard book of poetry. fantastic work ! mary

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    1. Thanks, Mary! I just bought that poetry book last summer - it's great! Wish I had found it sooner. Enjoy your week!

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  7. One of my favorite things to do with my class is a Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow Poem. I found this lesson on the writingfix website. You begin the lesson by listening to songs: Yesterday by the Beatles, a song called Today, (can't remember the artist), and of course Tomorrow from the musical Annie. Then the kids think about things they used to when they were little, what they do right now, and then things they hope to do in the future. The final product is wonderful!

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    1. Thank-you so much, Julie! I absolutely LOVE this idea - I'm definitely going to try it out on my students!

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  8. Apparently I was born yesterday. I have never heard of "Poet-tree" and just about fell off my rocker when I read that. I am definitely going to use that for next year. Thanks for the creative idea! :) It came out awesome!

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  9. THANKS for the year in review, I missed this lesson when you initially posted it. Can't wait to try it out with my students. Will make a great end of year project - during/after testing.

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