Some of the key understandings that I want students to take away from this unit are:
- Write about things you REALLY care about
- Consider word choice
- Use only the words you need for your message
- Poems can be short
- Poems utilize line breaks, white space, and repetition
- Endings are important-Poems need a sense of closure
- Start with lots of examples-exposure to poetry is important
- Choice is important-allow students to choose what they'll write about and which poem they'll publish
- Give students the opportunity to share their work daily
As we finish up our poetry unit, my students are been busy polishing their own poems. A few days ago we created a class poem about pizza. This poem was inspired by Kid's Poems by Reggie Routman. We brainstormed words first, like hot, red peppers, peperoni, cheese crust, Hawaiian, black olives, mushrooms, and pineapple pizza. This is what our working copy looked like.
This is our final product:
I Love Pizza
by Mrs. Ruckes' Class
different kinds of pizza.
different kinds of toppings.
Everyone loves pizza!
The kids were so excited about our class poem, and couldn't wait to publish it. So we did. Now, who should illustrate it? Perhaps I will... I think they'll like that.
Next Steps? Creating our Poetry Anthology. These will make great gifts for the end of the school year.
When writing a class poem, do you guide your students to write the poem a certain way?
Do you just let the magic happen?
I would love to hear your thoughts.