Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Making Little Poets

April: Poetry Month!! 
April is one month that I have a love/hate relationship with :) It is such a wonderful month to teach because I do my Egg unit and my Poetry/Riddle unit...which I truly enjoy teaching both. But Hate it because it is such a busy month as we are near the end of the school year. There are tons of meetings, testing, class lists, schedules become full again and it seems that there is just not enough time to get it all done!  

Each week of the school year, I teach my students a new poem. Many times the poem will help teach them new sight words. At the end of the week, we highlight sight words and put our poem in our P.I.G. (poetry is great) folders. Then the students take their folders home over the weekend and read their new poems (and old ones too) to their parents. 

 But this week...we are doing something different! 

We are in the process of working together, as a class, to write our very own poem. I like my students to understand what authors and/or poets go through when they write a story/poem and to understand that it isn't something that is done by just sitting down and writing something and then it's done. There is so much more to getting a book/poem published. So we talk about the steps that they take to do this.

I let my students know that they are the ones making the decisions on what our poem will be about and what our poem says. The only time I get to choose, is if they can't agree on something. 

Day 1: Brainstorming
I began by having the students brainstorm topics that they wanted our class poem to be about.They came up with several topics and then they voted to see which topics were the most popular. I took the top 3 topics and had them vote again to decide what we were going to write our poem about. Then we talked about how some poems rhyme and how some poems do not rhyme. I read an example of both types and then had my students vote again. (I have 21 students in my class and as you can see, not all of them voted. I told them that if they didn't vote, then their voice wouldn't be heard, so if they want a say what the poem is going to be about, they must vote.) 

Finally, we had a topic to write about! 

Kindergarten Friends

The next thing we did was turn our brains back on high and brainstormed again. This time we came up with things that we knew about our kindergarten friends, things we do with them, and things that describe our kindergarten friends. 

Day 2: Getting Started 
We reviewed what we had talked about yesterday and how we came to our topic. Then we went back over our brainstorming to decide how we wanted to start our poem out. 
What would the first line of our poem be? What can we do to hook our readers? Do we we want to start with a question? Do we want to start with something excited?
These are all questions I asked my students and had them give me their ideas and opinions and then we voted...
The first sentence: I like my kindergarten friends. 

Hmmm, where do we go from here...again, since it is a poem written by my students I gave them the freedom to discuss their options as I guided them. 

Sentence number 2: We see each other at school.

Now that we had two sententces, we needed to start thinking about words that rhyme, so that we can write a poem that rhymes. I asked students to come up with words that rhymed with school and I wrote down what they came up with.


Then my students had to decide what word they wanted to use to rhyme with school in the poem about Kindergarten Friends. And so, we came up with four lines of our poem today.
Kindergarten Friends
I like my kindergarten friends.
We see each other at school
We play together outside
My friends are really cool!

Just before we were finishing up, one of my students said that we should start our poem out with "My friends are really cool"  because then people will really want to read our poem. So, we did some editing (a day ahead of schedule :) I love teaching in the moment!)

Now it reads:

Kindergarten Friends
My friends are really cool!
We play together outside
We see each other at school

  Day 3: Continue/finish writing rough draft and begin editing 
Tomorrow we will come together again and continue to write our poem. As a rule of thumb, I like to keep the poems to 10 lines or less (mainly because I want it to fit in a pocket chart once it is written out on sentence strips but also because I want to wrap it up in 5 days). I will repeat the process of thinking about words that rhyme, so that we can write a poem that rhymes. We will continue with the the theme of every other line rhyming.  We will also continue to edit as we go. 

Day 4: Edit and re-write
Thursday, we will read the poem and decide what changes need to be made. Is there a better choice of words that we can use? How does the ending sound? Do we have the lines in an order that makes sense? Are we happy with way the poems sounds? Does it rhyme? We will make the changes necessary to make a rhyming poem that our class agrees upon! (Majority rules). Then I will re-write the poem and we will re-read it again to make sure it is just how we want it :) If changes need to be made, we will make them accordingly. 

 Day 5: Final Copy to be put in our P.I.G. Folders
Thursday night, I will type up the final copy to put in the students P.I.G. folders. On Friday, I will hand out the final copy of the poem and we will read through it as a group being sure to use our "magic reading fingers" while reading.. Then students will draw a picture to go with the poem. They will then put it in their  P.I.G. folder and take it home to share with their families. 

Presentation Day:
Next week, I will have their poem written on sentence strips and in the pocket chart. We will read through it each day and highlight any sight words we may have used. By the end of the week, they should know the poem word for word. Then on Friday, we will have our Poetry Celebration Assembly and my students will be able to recite a poem, written by them, in front of their peers! 

Want to see the final product???
To read their final copy, please visit my personal blog, Kindergarten Hugs this weekend. I will share it with you :) and hopefully I will remember to take pictutures of some of their illustrations too!

To see what we did last year for poetry month click here and  here!

Carie Ramirez





  1. I love introducing poetry to kids, and it's great to read about your awesome ideas for Poetry Month, Carie! I pinned your post to my Kids' Poetry Activities board at

  2. Thanks Deb! I love introducing poetry to the kids too! They just seem to get sucked in and want more!

  3. Pinned! Very nice, and the perfect time of year for some poetry. Thanks for the photos and helpful suggestions.


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