You can use poetry to teach children how to read, spell, and remember important information. We sing in verse. Children love poetry. Over the next week and a half, we are talking poetry . And while we use poetry in all of our lessons, I wanted to give you this set of activities to use with your kids at home (or in the classroom). We will be building our own poetry collection as we go along and after the lesson is completed, we will continue write more poetry in the book throughout the year.
The Lesson Plan (Download Available at the Bottom of the Post)
- Give your child a blank composition notebook.
- Ask your child(ren) what their definition of poetry is. Ask them how they know the difference between a poem and a story. Get the conversation started. It may help to have a piece of poster board to write it down on.
- At the top of poster board, write down the dictionary definition of the term “poetry” but explain that poetry is a flexible definition that has many ways of being understood.
- Have your child(ren) write down the dictionary definition of poetry on the second page of the composition notebook (leave the first page for a title page).
- Read two of three poems together. I’ve outlined several potential poetry books below, but you can gather resources from the library too.
- Begin by reading a poem from one of your resource books or a poem you really love. Afterwards, explain why you like the poem. Explain to your student(s) that they will be finding poems that they like too.
- Ask your student if he/she knows any poetry forms already. If not, it isn’t a big deal. Introduce the poetry forms listed on the resource sheet at the end of this lesson plan. Have them copy the form name and definition into their composition books. If your child is very young and not ready to write, then you should write each one of these forms out onto a large piece of paper. Also, you could have the child just write the name and a basic definition. If this is too much for one day, consider breaking up the definition writing over the span of the entire lesson…one definition a day perhaps.
- To eliminate potential boredom, I would suggest writing out a form, reading a poem in that form.
- Together, write a poem on a sheet of paper or in the composition book.
- Read 2-3 poems from your resource books.
- Read and show your child several concrete shape poems. Ask your child what she notices about the poem.
- Go over the definition of a concrete poem. A concrete poem’s shape reflects the content.
- Ask her to write a shape poem in her journal. Remember, this isn’t about spelling perfectly…it’s about concept. For younger children, you may transcribe if needed, but I wouldn’t recommend it.
- Read and discuss haikus.
- Have your child come up with a few haikus to write into his composition book.
- Explain syllables, if needed (great math lesson here!).
- Read and discuss diamante poems.
- Talk about shape (again, excellent math/shape opportunity here).
- Work with the child to write a diamante poem in the journal.
- Read and discuss acrostic poems.
- Ask the child to select a few favorite words. You can prompt this by asking about favorites. Perfect opportunity for a spelling lesson.
- Work with the child to write 2-3 acrostic poems.
- Read and discuss free verse poems.
- Ask the child to write a free verse poem.
- From here on out, you can continue to talk about a different poetry form every day.
- Begin talking about elements of poetry as mentioned on the resource sheet within the downloadable document.
- With the introduction of each new element, ask your child to come up with a poem that uses that element.
- Continue reading 2-3 poems aloud every day.
Resources You May Find Handy