If I could produce a commercial, I would make one for the celebration of Poetry Friday. We just celebrated our first Poetry Friday last week and before we even started I had grunts, groans and actually a comment, “Are we really doing poetry every Friday?” It saddened me, and I just had to pause for a moment and tell myself that my goal is to shift their thinking about poetry this year.

I wonder: what is your class feeling about poetry this year?  I sure got an instant barometer on my class about their feelings.  If you have never tried Poetry Friday here is a link to how I started to celebrate Poetry Friday in my classroom. I would encourage you to try celebrating poetry this year.

I put up an overhead of the poem “Smelly Locker”  from Smelly Locker: Silly Dilly School Songs . I always start the year with singing poetry. It was interesting to see their bodies shift in their seats as they first read the poem silently. Then we sang Frere Jacque and a few more students were warming up to the idea.  Finally we sang the poem aloud to the tune of Frere Jacque.  A few students started moving in their seats; one student stood up and started dancing. So I suggested we sing it again with motions that could be made up as they were singing. At this point half the class was standing and dancing, many of the them copying their goofy teacher singing and dancing right along with them.  After we finished singing, I asked them about how they liked the poem?  One student blurted out: “That was not poetry.”  I inquired, and we discussed the organization of it:  stanza, rhyme pattern, theme etc.  Slowly their thinking began to shift.

We will continue to have fun with poetry on Friday – will you be joining us?

This week Renee has the Poetry Roundup at  No Water River

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