Friday, November 26, 2021

Suggestions for Poems to Use in Early Childhood

I have always loved poetry. I was one of those strange kids who would keep copies of poems we learned about in class and I can still recite some of them. :) 

One of the things I think it is very important for students to know is that poems do not have to follow any rules. They do not need to rhyme, they don't even need punctuation (e.e.cummings). Vocabulary in poems is also very succinct because a poet doens't have the space of a novel to make their point-so a great way to incorporate new vocabulary.

I posted about poetry a few weeks ago and received a comment asking for what poems specifically would work with the young kiddos. So here is a list:

Robert Frost-The Road Less Traveled, Stopping By the Woods on a Snowy Evening, Nothing Gold Can Stay

Langston Hughes-Mother to Son, Democracy, Dream Variations, The Blues

Shel Silverstein-Sick, Snowball, Where the Sidewalk Ends, Polar Bear in the Frigidaire (great for alliteration)

Jack Prelutsky-New Kid on the Block (great for visualizing and making inferences)

Robet Hayden-Those Winter Days

Silvia Plath- Mirror (I only use the first stanza-told from the perspective of a mirror)

Alfred Lord Tennyson-The Eagle

Robert Louis Stevenson-My Shadow, The Moon

Maya Angelou-I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, Life Doesn't Frighten Me

A.A. Milne-If I Were King

Nikki Giovani-Tennesee

Carl Sandburg-Fog

Margarita Engle-Memory, Dream Drum Girl

Hope that helps get you started. :) 

Thursday, November 18, 2021

Changes Over Time

One of my favorite books to discuss changes over time and how technology has changed our lives is:

It discusses how Blueberry Fool was made 300 years ago, 200 years ago, 100 years ago and today. A great way to compare and contrast changes in how people got the cream, stored the dessert and of course, how they whipped the cream. Now traditionally I have my students make whipped cream the old-fashioned way with a wire whisk. We pass a bowl around and each take turns whipping the cream-of course, that is not an option this year with germs. So I begged and borrowed bowls and whisks and each student made their own cream which we add not to BlueBerry Fool but to some pumpkin pie (which many of my students had not tasted before). They found making the whipped cream tiring but enjoyed the fruits of their labor! :) 

Wednesday, November 17, 2021

Gratitude Journals-What Are You Thankful for That You Can't See

The next prompt in our Gratitude Journals was to write about something you are grateul for that you cannot see. This was a good thinking activity for my students. At first, they did have some difficulty but I think they came up with some good answers.

I mean * mind blown* right?!I am thankful for the future.


My dog who died.

Tuesday, November 16, 2021

Gratitude Journals-What Are You Thankful for That Does Not Cost Money?

This was a challenging prompt for my students. They would write "toy" and I would have to say-but you have to buy that. Here are some great ideas my students came up with:

a job because it doesn't cost money to get one

Sunday, November 14, 2021

Gratitude Projects

We talk about gratitude all throughout the year. We have gratitude journals-sometimes they write about something they want to write about sometimes I give them a prompt-what are you thankful for that you can't see? What are you thankful for that doesn't cost any money? I have started even in my own practice each evening before bed to write down 3 things I am grateful for. As I go through my day I think how thankful I am for that good parking space or the sunrise on my way to work.

My students completed a project where they could reflect on what they are grateful for. I asked them to think beyond just family and friends. It was challenging for them to come up with so many. We did a rough draft that they then transferred to the poster board so it was a multi-step project. It was so amazing watching them take their time and illustrate their projects. They really put a lot of effort into it. Here is what they came up with:

Thursday, November 11, 2021

Poetry with the Littles

You know me, I am all about the rigor-especially with the younger grades. We need to lay that foundation of creativity and critical thinking skills early on. 

I was watching Dead Poet's Society the other day and I was remembering how I became a poetry fanatic after studying it in high school. I was such a nerd that I had journals of poems I collected over the years (I wish I knew what happened to those). We can inspire students to love words, love poetry. Even my 1st graders understand hyperbole, alliteration, similes and metaphors. My class last year loved hyperbole so much they would just yell out when someone did it. A teacher was walking past one day telling her students she had told them 1,000 times and my students say in unison "hyperbole!!!!". 

Our district curriculum has us reading Pete the Cat for 2 weeks as our poetry unit. I know!?! First of all, not a poem. Secondly, where's the meat? Where's the emotion? The depth?

I read a poem with my class every week. We read it every day and then on Fridays the goal is to put it in their poetry journals and summarize/illustrate them. We read Langston Hughes, Robert Frost, Shel Silverstein and Jack Prelutsky. Some poems are funny. Some are sad.

I emphasize that poems are supposed to make you feel. This is one of my favorite examples:

Kids have the ability to write poems and to apply literary devices-even the young ones!

So here are the responses from our poem this week. Robert Frost's the Road Less Taken. Did they get it?