Sunday, April 21, 2013

April: National Poetry Month

Every 3rd Friday is book club and I teach "The Big Kids Book Club". My ages are about 7-13 years. Since April is National Poetry Month, we focused on poems this month. I asked the kids to bring a poem to share; it could be one they had written or a favorite one someone else wrote and we started with the kids sharing their poems.
ISBN: 9780763606626
I wanted to do a kind of overview of the different kinds of poems and the different places you find poems. The book above, A Kick in the Head, is awesome because it defines poem types and gives examples. It really helped me structure the class. We talked about haiku because one of our kids wrote quite a few and brought them to share. We also talked about riddle poems and I shared the Sphinx's poem from Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire and a student shared one from The Hobbit. I talked about a ballad and shared one from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. I used the Harry Potter books to help the kids see how poems are every where, not just in poem books.

I went to Shel and downloaded this year's Poetry Workshop Kit. The kit included several worksheets in several types of poems. This kit would be useful for a group or for a single student to use throughout a poetry unit. There are a few year's worth of kits on the website, too. I focused on concrete or shape poems, and I shared some concrete poems from these books:
This is written from the point of view of a 14 year old girl. It is actually a follow-up volume  called Technically, it's not my fault written from her younger brother's view point. Funny poems we really enjoyed.
Jack Prelutsky was the first Children's Poet Laureate and many think a worthy successor to Shel Silverstein.
So while the kids were working on the Silverstein worksheets I read some more poems.
This is a favorite of my 11YO daughter. It includes The Raven which is her very favorite. This volume is excellent because it includes definitions of little used words at the bottom of each page. I don't know as our younger than 11 crowd particularly liked it, but the older ones did.

This is a Children's anthology that my 8YO daughter loved. It includes lots of different authors and so lots of different styles.

The cover says it all. My girls have checked this out multiple times from the library. Even our boys liked the poem I read from this book because the girl comes to a terrible end.
And of course, I read several out of this book. A couple kids asked for their favorites and I read the poem we used to beg my 3rd grade teacher to read. She was the one who introduced me to Silverstein and I am indebted to her for that.

This is his most recent volume and most likely last as it was published posthumously. If you're a fan of Silverstein, I recommend it.
One more Silverstein that was brought by a student. He is well-loved by many kids.
I sent home the Silverstein worksheets and copies of the pages containing poem definitions from A Kick in the Head. There are many resources online to aid in your study of poetry; these are just the ones I used. I have to admit, I had a great time pulling together this book club and I just skimmed the surface of what I was hoping to do.


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