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I'm in a co op and I volunteered to do poetry. Now what??

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I've enjoyed using some of the Core Knowledge poetry lesson plans. Many seem adapted more for a group. We've tried Poetry Picnic (first grade), Poetry in Motion (second grade) Patchwork Poetry (third grade), and Picture Perfect Poetry (fourth grade).


It appears they're searchable from the site http://www.coreknowledge.org/, if you use the "Lesson Plan" tab in the search box.


Erica in OR

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If you wanted to make it up yourself, you could get a copy of Dover thrifts selections. Then each week teach a different literary/poetic device like end rhyme, internal rhyme, symbolism, irony, simile, metaphor, sonnets, blank verse etc. The other thing you can teach is how important a title is, and the basics to grasping poetry. I.E. read the poem once to out loud, then try to put it in simple English, than try to understand what the author is saying. I think the older kids could totally help the younger kids and all could learn a lot about literary techniques.

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We used the MCT poetry component World of Poetry for a group of 10-12 y-o kids, and it worked really well. Like pp, I can't imagine, though, how one poetry study could possibly engage that wide an age gap! If it were me, I would lobby to split them up somewhat. :)

Edited by Caitilin
wrote wrong resource!
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I did a summer poetry workshop with a small group of 8-11 year olds and it worked out well. I used the book "Teaching Poetry: Yes You Can!" by Jacqueline Sweeney to put together my "lessons."


But that book is meant for "grades 4-8."


Teaching 4 to 14 year olds all at once? That's a HUGE, HUGE age difference. I wouldn't begin to know what to do that would be appropriate for all of them.

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age gap seems unreasonable.

:iagree:On the age gap if they are one big group. Is it possible to teach the lesson (big idea) to the entire group the first 5-10 min? Then break them up into 2 or 3 groups with parents helping?


* Pre-K to 1st: May not be able to do the actual assignment, to be honest. But offer paper, pencils, crayons, and a "watered down" simple task for them to do. Copywork. Something they can do in 15-20 min.


* Lower Grades: They CAN do the assignment -- but water it down for them in a managable task in the short time you have. Their topic or lesson may have to be simpler than the upper grades, for example.


* Upper Grades: This is where you can have fun! They are mature enough to get it and apply a twist to the assignment.




Grade level lessons & Ideas:


Edited by tex-mex
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I'd do the first MCT poetry book as your spine -- Music of the Hemispheres.


I'd sure hope you'll split it into two groups (at least). . . MoH would work well for ages 7/8ish & up. Below that, I'd do something very different!!


In addition to covering MCT concepts (a few pages per class session), I'd add in poetry/poet appreciation/recitation. . . having kids memorize/recite poems. . .


Learn the biography of a poet each session, plus read a couple poems. . .


Have kids memorize/recite poems in turn. . . perhaps having two or three students recite each session.


You could make the public speaking component a big or small part of the class, depending on your interests.

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Yikes, yes the age group (sigh!). Not sure *what* to do about that honestly. I'm beginning to feel like this is over my head. I wanted to do something fun and I feel very unprepared...ack!


The lady who's house we meet at had surgery yesterday, so I really don't want to bother her with asking about splitting up the group. OTOH...our first get-together is next Wednesday and I have *nothing*.


Maybe I will do what a pp suggested and start with the big group, and then have the smaller kids color (or something) while I work with the other kids. I just don't know!

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Okay, if I had to plan a lesson or two with a group with that wide a spread, I would start with a couple of short, funny, narrative poems. Even nursery rhymes might work. I assume you have a breakdown of the kids who will be in the group and the ages. So I would plan to break them up into several sets of 3-4 students with a wide age range in each small group. After reading a handful of these poems together (with lots of energy and enthusiasm), I would assign one small poem to each group, and ask the kids to work out a small "performance" of the poem. They could all stand in a row and recite the poem while performing hand-motions they invent, or they could take different parts, each saying and performing a small part of the whole. After giving them a few minutes to organize, I'd pull them back together to perform for each other. *Hopefully* some of the older kids will help organize the youngers, and they'll manage to be creative together...


Start with simple, funny things.


There was a young lady of Niger

Who smiled as she rode on a tiger;

They returned from the ride

With the lady inside,

And the smile on the face of the tiger.


Ooey Gooey was a worm,

A mighty worm was he.

He sat upon the railroad tracks...

The train he did not see.

Ooey gooey!


Arbuckle Jones

When flustered

Eats custard

With mustard

I'm disgustard - Peter Wesley-Smith.



Encourage the kids to make the most of the silliness, of the delight in the tones and onomatopoeia of some of the words. (How do you say "smile" in the first? What about the last line of "Ooey Gooey"? What happens when you say the first lines of Arbuckle Jones in a very "refined" way, then unleash real disgust with the last line?)


You could also pick some of Emily Dickinson's nature-related poems. Or look at Lear and Carrol for some delightful nonsense verse.


I'd start there. I'd want the kids to see that poetry is 1) meant to be heard and performed aloud, 2) delightful.

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