Header/Social Media Icons/Navigation Bar

Image Map

11/7/13

The Dreaded Poetry Unit

  
I remember dreading poetry as a student in elementary school and jr. high.   BORIIIIING.  I had a great English teacher in high school and then majored in English in college.  I learned to love and appreciate poetry, but I had NO idea how to teach it when I became a teacher.  In college, there were so many different interpretations of old, stuffy poems.  I didn't even really understand the interpretations let alone come up with one on my own.  I came around, and as I taught many years of English at the jr. high level, I developed as an interpreter of poetry and gained a love and appreciation for even the "stuffy stuff."

Flash forward to the present... Jack Prelutsky, now there's a poet for 'ya.  I LOVE his poetry for teaching a poetry unit.  After gathering ideas from several of his poems, I've come up with a semi-concise set of poetry elements that we made into a foldable today using Jack Prelutsky poems as examples.
www.teacherfluffandreallygoodstuff.blogspot.com

Here is a picture of the foldable and the steps to make it.  It is a six-flap flipbook (Dina Zike's).  It could be so much bigger with more flaps, but I have condensed it to six flap.  
www.teacherfluffandreallygoodstuff.blogspot.com

Give each student three sheets of differently colored paper (or half sheets depending how how much you need to fit on a flap), and lay them out in about 1" graduations.  Then fold them together in the middle letting the top three flaps look just like the bottom three flaps. 
www.teacherfluffandreallygoodstuff.blogspot.com


www.teacherfluffandreallygoodstuff.blogspot.com

www.teacherfluffandreallygoodstuff.blogspot.com
After they folded, I walked around putting one staple at the top of everyone's flipbook. We wrote "Elements of Poetry" on the top flap.  We credited Jack Prelutsky and wrote the purpose of this poetry is to entertain.
www.teacherfluffandreallygoodstuff.blogspot.com
On the bottom of the second flap we wrote "rhyme." Then we read a poem, with rhyme like "I Have A Dozen Dragons."  Inside, we wrote a stanza from a rhyming poem to illustrate rhyme and rhythm.  We discussed that not all poems rhyme, but most of Jack Prelutsky's do! We counted syllables in each line to understand rhythm.
www.teacherfluffandreallygoodstuff.blogspot.com

www.teacherfluffandreallygoodstuff.blogspot.com
We wrote "Different Word Order" on the third flap.  We talked about how poetry does not sound like regular dialogue or other writing. We sometimes write poetry in a much different way than we write a narrative.

www.teacherfluffandreallygoodstuff.blogspot.com
The fourth flap was for "Punctuation."  I taught them how to use the punctuation marks to read the poem like the author intended.  We talk about how poetry doesn't follow regular writing rules and why authors create short lines or longer lines (rhythm).  We practice not slowing down at the end of the line if there is no punctuation mark.  For example, we read this as one complete thought:
"I spied my shadow slinking
up behind me in the night,..."
As one of my students put it, "you just keep the flow from one line to the next."  I liked that!
Then we practice slowing down for commas and periods That's good practice for reading anything!

www.teacherfluffandreallygoodstuff.blogspot.com
www.teacherfluffandreallygoodstuff.blogspot.com


www.teacherfluffandreallygoodstuff.blogspot.com

www.teacherfluffandreallygoodstuff.blogspot.com
We discussed lyric poetry and imagery.  Next, we wrote from "When I Am Full of Silence" on the fifth flap.   I pointed out that most of Jack Prelutsky's poems are funny, but this one is serious and that he does have some "feeling" types of poems in his collections.  This poem expresses his feelings when he wants to be alone.  Have the students share times when they want to be alone and ask if they can relate to this poem.  We had lots of good discussions about "alone time!"  (Maybe they will understand their mothers better, haha!) 

www.teacherfluffandreallygoodstuff.blogspot.com
www.teacherfluffandreallygoodstuff.blogspot.com
On the last flap, we wrote "Imagery- Using Senses"  We discussed what the candles symbolized and what kind of picture we saw in the poem "A Million Candles."  We also discussed that poetry can appeal to any of your five senses.

We had lots of fun reading his silly and serious poems, and then, after all that work, we took a "brainbreak" which is always fun.  The next time we write about poetry, we will go deeper into more of the elements such as imagery, alliteration, assonance, metaphor, simile, symbol and types of poems such as lyric, narrative, descriptive, humorous, etc...

Rabbit trail moment - have you ever looked at Dude Perfect on YouTube?  I have teenagers at home, so we have seen them ALL at my house.  These Texas A&M Aggie students (the most awesome of colleges) attempt impossible feats with footballs, basketballs, etc...  That was our brain break today (after we danced to MC Hammer's, "Can't Touch This," - still laughing on the inside over that because the quietest kids dance like maniacs!)  We earned our break because we worked HARD taking a spelling test, an assessment over summary, and this very LARGE poetry lesson.  We still had to do cursive!


No comments:

Post a Comment

It's all about sharing ideas here, and I'd love to hear your thoughts. Please check back because I do reply to comments here!