Our Memoir unit ended the last Friday in April. The final On-Demands needed to be completed before PARCC. A week of science writing to support the 5th grade Science Fair occurred last week. Next week is the PARCC. Then in June, the 5th grade takes a 3-day camping trip. As I was planning for what to teach in May and June, Poetry seemed the best answer with all the interruptions. My workshop plan became to treat each day as a chance to immerse the students in a poet's writing, then time for them to draft. After PARCC, I'll provide time for them to choose at least one poem to revise, edit and publish. So far, fitting in poetry in this busy May/June time has worked out beautifully.
I didn't grow up loving poetry. In fact, thanks to high school, I only have bad memories associated with poetry, specifically related to The Wasteland by T.S. Eliot and The Red Wheelbarrel by William Carlos Williams. It wasn't until I read Love That Dog by Sharon Creech that finally I came to enjoy poetry. Its character, Jack, helped me to just enjoy the sound and look of poems and not feel stupid when I didn't get a poems meaning.
Now I enjoy teaching poetry to my students and sharing ways that have worked for me with colleagues. In fact a week ago Friday I presented to a group of teachers at our DC3 Share Conference. To prepare for that presentation, I gathered all the resources I have used over the years. I wrote about this HERE back in Dec, 2011 when teaching another group of colleagues.
At that time, J. Patrick Lewis was just named our National Children's Poet Laureate and knowing the job is for two years, I realized I hadn't kept up and I did not know who the current National Children's Poet Laureate was. I quickly googled and discovered Kenn Nesbitt. WOW! His website is FILLED with great resources. In fact, on Thursday, I just opened his Haiku Lesson Plan on the smartboard, read it to the class and then they spent 15 minutes writing amazing haiku poems! This website is now added to my growing list of great poetry sites.
Another great poetry unit addition is Chris Lehman. He now has a total of 6 videos - 3 from last April and 3 more from this April. He runs a Poetry Workshop that is recorded and archived.
2014 Sessions found here
2015 Sessions found here
A final additional resource I discovered were the many additions to the ReadWriteThink website.
I knew about the shape poems - click here
Now they also have:
I also discovered a that poet, Helen Frost, had written a new picture book poem called:
We plan to have our 5th grades perform this poem, Sweep Up the Sun during our Promotion ceremony! I recommend read it and viewing the amazing photography by Rick Lieder as well.
I'm so glad I keep looking for resources to teach poetry...so many great poets...so many great poems!