One of the many literary units taught at school is poetry. In fact, poetry is a great way to foster creative literacy in the elementary classroom. It lets students be imaginative, and allows for flexibility in writing because they do not have to worry about grammar and spelling. Poetry allows you to bend (or even break) all the rules. Poetry builds community and allows students to share their thoughts and feelings; the quiet students get a chance to find their voices. Plus, it is a fun way to experiment with rhythm and oral communication. In the words of Robert Frost, “Poetry is when an emotion has found its thought and the thought has found words.”
Throughout the month of May, the Grade 5 students study poetry. We look at various poets, such as William Shakespeare and Alfred Lord Tennyson. We explore different poetic devices that are used to give poetry texture and deeper meaning, such as metaphor, simile, alliteration, and hyperbole. Students read poems aloud, both individually and as a chorus, and of course we write! We play with acrostic, cinquain, and haiku poems, just to name a few.
To wrap up the unit, students create a poetry anthology with some of the poems they have written. The kids have a blast. Here are some samples :
Skating, shooting, scoring
With huge fans
The bird flies around in the air
Picks up some worms, feeds it to her babies
Then eats for herself
Then goes fly some more and poops on a person’s head
Then the bird gets happy for not missing
The human says, “Not cool, bird”
The bird flies around in the air and then leaves
The next day it repeats
Birds and Worms
Flying, eating, building
Tweet, egg, pink, underground
Slithering, sleeping, exploring
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