Thursday, October 31, 2013

Guest Post Artistry of Education: Integrating Poetry with Content, Reading and Writing

I enjoy reading and writing poetry and I share this love with my upper elementary students.  I find that even reluctant writers are willing to try these short pieces.  Also, I can teach all sorts of language lessons: personification, metaphors, similes, parts of speech, syllabication, and using dictionaries.

For most of my twenty plus years in the classroom, I have taught poetry units in four ways:
  • At the beginning of the year to teach writer's workshop expectations and routines
  • As stand alone mini-lessons in between longer writing projects
  • During the month of April which is National Write Poetry Month
  • At the end of the year where we create a memory eBook to share on our class website
In the last year or so, I have been exploring forms of poetry that fit with my science and social studies units.  Students get all the benefits of poetry I mentioned, plus they have a different way of expressing what they have learned.

A free example unit where I incorporated science content with poetry is Arctic Word Sort.  Students sort vocabulary words by part of speech and syllable.  Then they create poetry that shares facts about what they learned about this environment.

Another form of poetry that works well with content reading and writing is the clerihew.  A clerihew is a humorous four line poem about a famous person.  The end of the first line contains the name of the person.  The second line rhymes with the first.  The third and fourth lines rhyme and tell more about the person.  Here is an example:

A team named Lewis and Clark
Decided they'd make their mark
They journeyed across the land
And returned later than they planned.
If you would like to contact me about integrating poetry into your lessons or other writing lessons I have created, you can find me at my blog Artistry of Education
Hope to see you there,
Mary Bauer


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