I used to DREAD April because it meant it was time for teaching poetry. I am not that creative brained person that was ever good at writing poetry, so I assumed teaching students about reading poetry would be the same…. but I was so wrong! With the right models, anchor charts and lesson plans, teaching poetry to primary students can be so much fun!
Planning: Pick Poetry Elements
To start, use the common core or your own resources to determine what poetic elements you want to teach to your students. I typically taught 14 types of poetry and 8 types of figurative language often found in poems. I would always cover:
- ABC Poems
- Acrostic Poems
- Autobiographical Poems
- Chant Poetry
- Cinquain Poetry
- Color Poems
- Diamante Poems
- Shape Poems
- Tanka Poems
Each day, I teach a different skill. At the beginning of the block, I use an anchor chart to go over the poetic element.
Then, we read a ton of examples I have found in real literature that exemplify that type of poem. Shel Silverstein is a definite favorite and covers almost every type of poem.
After reading the examples, I give students time to practice reading a poem. Poetry is a GREAT time to reinforce fluency and typically gives confidence to students who might otherwise struggle in that area.
I have students read the “poem of the day” 3 times out loud. Then, they answer some basic questions about the poem.
When they finish, I allow them to read lots of different poems with partners to practice fluency and to build their love of reading.
After teaching students to read poetry, we practice writing poetry. Tune in next week for details on how I teach this.
- Digital Reading and Writing Poetry Unit
- PDF Reading and Writing Poetry Unit
- Shel Silverstein Collection
- Love That Dog
Do you enjoy teaching students about reading poetry? Drop your favorite books in the comment section below!