Thursday, March 30, 2017

Poetry Packs a Powerful Punch!

April is National Poetry Month!  Although we will do some special poetry related activities during the month, we also enjoy poetry throughout the year.

We start every day with a poem displayed on the Smart Board.  It's there from the moment the students walk in.  I keep the same poem up for one week as we use it for repeated readings, phonics, and vocabulary work.

I like using poems in this way for several reasons.  First, kids like them!  They are short and often funny.  Even reluctant readers enjoy reading these poems.  They feel a sense of accomplishment when they are able to read an entire piece independently from start to finish.  It's a great way to build fluency skills as we read and reread every day.  It only takes a few minutes at the beginning of our day.

After announcements are finished, we read the poem together one time as a class.  This choral reading supports everyone, even those who may find the reading challenging at first.  Next, I choose 1 person to read it alone.  This is always voluntary.  We often talk about expression, rate, and attending to punctuation in the poem as we read.

Each day I pick one small area to focus on.  For example, we might look for certain "hunks and chunks"or spelling patterns.  We will underline them and discuss what we see.  We also might choose 1-2 words as vocabulary development.  Poetry provides a rich resource for interesting words.

The whole process takes about 5 minutes out of our day but provides many opportunities for learning.  In addition to seeing the poems on the Smart Board, I have each poem printed and bound into a book for the students.  They keep them in their book boxes and use them during Daily 5.  Again, it's a great way to develop fluency skills, and it's fun!

How do you use poetry in your class?  I would love to hear more ideas!


  1. I just saw your comment, and replied on my blog. Glad you added your link at the end. :-) Have you used any of the Jack Prelutsky poems for reading? My kids have enjoyed them. So glad you've found the poems of mine helpful too. I have really enjoyed writing them. Thanks for sharing your ideas. I need to suggest to one of my teachers that she project the poems. It'd make a great station for the kids.

  2. Yes, I love Jack Prelutsky's poems! Another fun poet is Bruce Lansky. He has written many silly poems that the students love.
    Thank you so much for your reply!

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