Are You Ready For “Poetry Month”?

March 22, 2018 24 Comments

I was a creative writing and psychology major in college. (Would you like fries with that?) Needless to say, I had to go back to graduate school almost immediately to a acquire a marketable skill set. Nevertheless, my love of writing and of teaching writing has never waned. Teaching persuasive writing is my jam, but over the years, I have learned to love all of it. Loving poetry took me the longest.

This year, I had an epiphany. (It took me long enough.) Every year, I have covered similar material during my poetry unit regardless of what grade level I have taught. I was on autopilot. One evening as was planning my poetry study, I thought, “I really need to jazz things up. I’m bored with this”. I love Gallery Walks and I love Collaboration. How could I combine the two to deepen understanding of poetic elements?

I created a Poetic Elements Gallery Walk for my students (and, let’s be honest, for my Teachers Pay Teachers Store) that includes all of the elements they might need to understand in the upper elementary grades – figurative language, sensory images, the three Rs of poetry (rhythm, rhyme, repetition), vocabulary, author’s purpose, connections, and theme. Something was still missing. I really wanted this to be open ended and collaborative. In the past, I probably would have posted some poems on Google Classroom and had students read and respond on their own. How could I turn this into a Gallery Walk? Here’s where the epiphany comes in. I looked for mentor texts and created posters that I printed out, laminated, and posted around the classroom and in the hallway. Voila! I created a gallery just as I had envisioned.

 

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My students were so engaged and they loved collaborating. They truly discussed the poetry at a high level. In addition, many of them scored advanced on the poetry post test (which, let’s face it, is an end goal whether we like it or not.)

If you’d like copies of the poems I used, please comment below and I will send you copies.

 

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If you just want the bibliography, here it is!

Bibliography

Happy Poetry Month from me to you!

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amazingmaterials4you

Currently, I teach fifth grade and have taught fifth grade since 2011. Before teaching fifth grade, I taught third grade, first grade, kindergarten, preschool, baby and toddler music, college, and graduate school. I am a mom of two daughters, a Maltese dog, and a tuxedo cat.

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24 Comments

  • ohhfortheloveofteaching March 22, 2018 at 7:55 pm

    I love how engaging your post is! It is so nice to see students so engaged and collaborating with each other! Great post!

  • Jo March 22, 2018 at 10:45 pm

    Love the idea of a poetry gallery! Thanks for sharing! 🙂

  • Christine Weis March 22, 2018 at 11:16 pm

    Love, Love Love this! I too LOVE writing and LOVE teaching writing. When I taught 2nd grade I went all out teaching poetic techniques, devices and we studied all kids of poets and poetry. It was fantastic! It is so nice to see other teachers doing this and I love seeing it in action. Sadly, when I was moved to third grade, it was looked down upon to do a whole month of poetry due to testing! BOOOO! Thanks for sharing this!

    • amazingmaterials4you March 22, 2018 at 11:45 pm

      When I was in Denver, we followed CCSS and only touched on poetry, but Virginia has its own standards and poetry study lasts a month!

  • Sarah March 23, 2018 at 1:17 am

    I would love to try to adapt this to teach sonnets to my high school students!

  • Brooke Khan March 23, 2018 at 1:33 am

    Poetry took the longest for me to enjoy as well (great minds think alike) 🙂 I love using the gallery walk to increase engagement. Well done!

    • amazingmaterials4you March 23, 2018 at 1:35 am

      Thank you so much! My students really loved it.

    • amazingmaterials4you March 25, 2018 at 6:20 pm

      I just remember my own elementary experience as a child when the extent of my instruction in poetry was writing variations on “Roses are red, violets are blue”!

  • Saved you a Spot March 25, 2018 at 5:39 pm

    I missed World Poetry Day on the 21st as we ran out of time to look into some Michael Rosen poems… Hadn’t realised it was poetry MONTH! Feeling happier 🙂 We’ll look into them this week for sure.

  • Janeice Wright March 26, 2018 at 3:17 am

    I love your poetry gallery. Your students looked so engaged!!

  • wendy mccarty March 30, 2018 at 12:28 pm

    We are just getting ready for APRIL poetry month! Great ideas! Wendy 1stgradefireworks

    • amazingmaterials4you March 30, 2018 at 12:51 pm

      Thank you for the feedback! The gallery walk really helped with accountability and collaboration.

  • Natalie Douty October 27, 2018 at 8:31 pm

    I would love a copy of the poems that you used:)

    • amazingmaterials4you October 27, 2018 at 10:36 pm

      No problem! What’s your email address?

  • Megan A Manne December 1, 2019 at 8:50 pm

    I’m not sure if you’re still sending these poems, but I would love them! I’m heading to TpT to purchase your gallery walk, as I’m beginning this unit with my 3rd graders tomorrow! Thank you for sharing all of these resources!

  • Lora Scruggs March 12, 2020 at 9:56 am

    Can you send me copies of the poems you used for the gallery walk? Thanks

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    The letters of my first name inspired the name of this blog and the names of my other business ventures, so when you think of me, just remember AM4Y. I started my teaching journey in 1987 and have taught every age from babies to fifth grade as well as college and graduate school in Tennessee, Florida, Maryland, Washington, D.C., Colorado, and Virginia. I have a B.A. in English and Psychology from The University of Tennessee, Knoxville and an M.A.T. in curriculum and instruction from The University of Memphis. In addition, I have completed more graduate work at The University of Maryland and The University of Colorado, Denver. I am a mom of two young adult daughters and a cute Maltese dog. When I am not teaching, you can find me traveling, reading, hiking, or cooking. Read More

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