It’s hard to believe that National Poetry Month is right around the corner! The way our school calendar works, we typically miss the first week or so of April as we are on spring break. So…I’ve learned to get an early start!
The book, Daniel Finds a Poem by Misha Archer is a perfect way to get first graders thinking poetically. They love the way that Daniel learns about poetry from all the animals around the park–and crafts his poem from their remarks.
Then it was time for the students to start thinking about what poetry is. We started with the stem, Poetry is… As we began brainstorming ideas, we also considered how our senses might help us think beyond just things we can see. Students wrote, beginning their list of what poetry is. Today we returned to our writing, taking a look at where we started, considering the senses we hadn’t yet tapped into, and wrote for another ten minutes. Then we took out the highlighters. I asked students to pick their best (or favorite) three poetry is phrases and highlight them. Wow–there were some gems! Here is a small sampling…
the hugs that my mom gives me
moonlight skies with stars shimmering
the feel of hot water from the bathtub
the smell of salt in the sea when the waves hit the shore in the morning
the rustle of newborn blossoms coming out for spring
the bird tap dancing at the break of dawn
and…poetry is when you look at the sky to find your own dreams.
Oh…out of the minds and pencils of 6 and 7 year olds!
And of course, we had to do some art to create a display for our poetry. Tulips were our inspiration (see yesterday’s post). Using black oil pastel and liquid watercolor, we created vibrant tulip still life paintings.
So poetry month has been launched! How will you launch poetry month in your classroom? In your writing life?
As March comes to an end, National Poetry Month is right around the corner. To get a bit of a head start–especially since we begin our Spring Break next week–I decided we needed to immerse ourselves in some poetry this week.
Poetry is nothing new in our class. We study a poem each week and then illustrate it, creating an anthology of poems we’ve worked with during the school year. We’ve written some poems of our own here and there. But the time is right for a deeper dive.
Daniel Finds a Poem by Micha Archer is a perfect book to get started. The first graders loved that the poem Daniel wrote was a compilation of the answers from all the animals that answered Daniel’s question, “What is poetry?” And it set the perfect stage for our own Poetry Is… brainstorm. After a start yesterday, we took this idea further today, stretching out ideas and embellishing them with vivid description. Here’s a few examples:
Poetry is a glass of warm hot chocolate on a cold, snowy winter day.
Poetry is a grasshopper jumping and hopping and bouncing all around the fields.
Poetry is a coconut with the flavor inside and the outside is so hard and thick like a layer of armor.
Poetry is a slippery fish, as beautiful as a butterfly.
Poetry is the sound of my dad snoring.
And somehow, in my mind, poetry and flowers are a perfect pairing. I had purchased some tulips and daffodils from Trader Joes over the weekend, knowing I wanted students to have a close up look at these symbols of spring (that are not commonly found growing around here). Yesterday students used a black oil pastel on watercolor paper to do a directed drawing of tulips in a vase. Today, we used liquid watercolor to create vibrant paintings of these beautiful spring flowers. The results are stunning!
I plan to matte them along with the “Poetry Is…” writing. And I think I may have each student contribute one line to create a class Poetry Is poem for a poster to hang on our door! After all, National Poetry Month is right around the corner!