Thursday, January 31, 2013

Week 22

It is time for sharing our poem for Week 22 with a theme focusing on "A Kinder Gentler Place." Our sample poem for the week comes from Fourth Grade and is a compelling look at a difficult topic, bullying. Here is just an excerpt from this powerful poem.

Poem for a Bully
   by Eileen Spinelli

Somewhere deep inside you
there’s a softer, kinder place.
I know this will surprise you—
but I’ve seen it in your face.


I wish that you would take a step—
a small, but brave one too—
and look inside yourself to find
the good I see in you.

[Look for the rest of the poem on p. 208 in the book, The Poetry Friday Anthology available here.]

Take 5 Activities
1. Before reading this poem (in a soft voice), point out to students that many poems are funny, but some are serious—like this one.

2. Share the poem aloud again and this time invite students to read the last line together.

3. For discussion: How do we help each other be our best selves?

4. In this lyrical poem, the poet is reaching out to the reader. What details reveal the poet’s hopes? What thoughts or emotions does the poem prompt in us?

5. Combine this poem with “The Bully” by Guadalupe Garcia McCall (5th Grade, Week 22).

The wonderful people at Teaching Authors are hosting Poetry Friday this week. See you there!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Week 21

It's Week 21 in our year-long sharing of poetry every Friday. Grab your copy of The Poetry Friday Anthology and turn to page 167 for this gem-- one of my personal favorites from the whole collection. It's "The Do Kind" by Janet Wong and it's in our Third Grade section under the theme of "Love and Friendship."

The Do Kind  
   by Janet Wong

When my ball flies over the wall,
you run and get it back.

When my books fall down the stairs,
you help me pick them up.

Some friends are see friends,
me me me friends.

You are the do kind,
the me and you kind.

Take 5
1. Before sharing this poem (in a soft voice), point out to students that many poems are humorous, but some are serious—like this one.

2. Read the poem aloud again and this time invite students to chime in on the words me me me in Line 6 and me and you in Line 8. Cue students by pointing to your ear.

3. For discussion: What makes a friend special to you?

4. Poems usually rhyme at the end of lines, but sometimes they rhyme in the middle too—called internal rhyme. Challenge the students to find the internal rhyming words in the lines of this poem (see/me; do/you).

5. Link this poem with another poem about friendship by Janet Wong, “Forgive and Forget” (2nd Grade, Week 22), and with selections from The Friendly Four by Eloise Greenfield.

Tabatha is hosting Poetry Friday over at her blog, The Opposite of Indifference. Check it out!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Week 20

It is Week 20 and time to focus on our theme of Art and Colors. Here is a poem for this theme from Fourth Grade. This poem by Lesléa Newman is a clever riff on the classic poem by Gelett Burgess, "I've Never Seen a Purple Cow." Here, she packs in 19 color words in unlikely combinations with a variety of animals.

I’ve Never Seen a Purple Cow
   by Lesléa Newman

I've never seen a purple cow
A hot pink horse, a light green sow,
A ruby dog, a turquoise cat
A copper crow, an orange bat,


A swarm of bright magenta flies
And if I did, I'd check my eyes.

[You'll find the poem in its entirety in The Poetry Friday Anthology on p. 206.]

Take 5
1. Encourage students to close their eyes and imagine a hot pink horse, an orange bat, and a sky blue pig. Then continue by reading this poem aloud.

2. Display the poem and invite students to choose their favorite colorful animal and chime in when that color/animal phrase appears.

3. Talk with students about all the words for different colors in this poem (purple, hot pink, light green, ruby, turquoise, copper, orange, green and yellow, black and lavender, sky blue, dark red, navy, violet, cherry, indigo, scarlet, magenta).

4. Poets love to play with words and how they are arranged on the page. Here the poem is almost like a list, but with regular end rhymes. Invite students to tap the rhythm of the poem as you share it again. Many poems have a beat and meter just like songs do.

5. Share another list poem by Lesléa Newman like “By the Sea” (1st Grade, Week 35) or poems from Yellow Elephant: A Bright Bestiary by Julie Larios.

Join the Poetry Friday roundup hosted by Violet Nesdoly this week. See you there!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Week 19

It's Week 19 of our year of sharing poems every Friday and our theme this week offers a second focus on the Human Body. Here is an excerpt from one poem from one grade level-- third grade-- written by Carol-Ann Hoyte.

It's a Wrap
by Carol-Ann Hoyte

I’m the
waterproof wrapping
which warms you up
and cools you down;


do not despair
‘cause I self repair.

Answer:  You'll have to get the book to find the answer!

[You'll find the whole poem and the answer to the riddle in The Poetry Friday Anthology, p. 165.]

Take 5
1. Read this poem aloud, and ask students to guess what this poem is about. If needed, point out clue words such as cut, scratch, bruise, bump.

2. For a follow up reading, invite students to finish the poem by reading the last two lines (do not despair / ‘cause I self repair) while you read the rest aloud. (You may need to explain the word despair.)

3. Use this teachable moment to talk about basic first aid and how to handle simple cuts, scratches, bruises, and bumps.

4. This poem is an example of a riddle poem. Guide students in identifying the clues that suggest the poem subject. Then talk about how the lines are arranged (with words even broken up like lay- / ered) to dole out the facts bit by bit--and how only the final two lines rhyme.

5. Link this poem with another riddle poem by Carol-Ann Hoyte, “From Root to Tip” (5th Grade, Week 19).

Join the whole crew celebrating Poetry Friday hosted by the wonderful Renee LaTulippe at No Water River here. 

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Week 18

This week marks the halfway point in our year of weekly poem sharing. How wonderful to see the year roll along one poem at a time! Up-and-coming poet Amy Ludwig VanDerwater wrote today's poem and was kind enough to give permission to share the WHOLE poem here. Enjoy this gem for Week 18 on the theme, "The Human Body," for First Grade.

Baby Tooth
   by Amy Ludwig VanDerwater

One wiggly week.
One apple bite.
One twist.
One pull.
I won the fight.

My face is full
of first grade style.

My tongue
peeks out
a window
in the middle
of my smile.

[This poem is found in The Poetry Friday Anthology on p. 84.]

Take 5 Activities
1. As you read this poem aloud, pretend you have a loose tooth and pantomime the actions suggested in the poem (bite apple, twist tooth, pull tooth, peek out tongue, smile).

2. The word one is repeated several times in this poem. That’s the perfect way to invite students to participate in another oral reading. Raise one finger to cue students to joining in on saying one each time it occurs in the first stanza.

3. For discussion: What is the best way to lose a loose tooth?

4. Repetition is a key ingredient in creating poems. Sometimes a poet uses repetition not just to enhance the sound of the poem, but to emphasize meaning. Lead the students in discussing how the poet repeats the word one in every line of the first stanza, including the homonym won.

5. Combine this poem with another “Tooth” poem also by Amy Ludwig VanDerwater (Kindergarten, Week 18).

The first Poetry Friday gathering of 2013 is being hosted by Matt Forrest at Radio, Rhythm, and Rhyme here. See you there!