Why Students Must Experience Poetry

Poetry is an often forgotten genre of reading in the classroom.  I know I've been guilty of bypassing reading it to my students. With most of the country staying at home right now due to social distancing,  this is the perfect time to have your students write poems.
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Kids' Poems: Teaching Third & Fourth Graders to Love Writing Poetry by Regie Routman is my favorite way to introduce poetry to my students. Routman provides strategies for using kids' poems as models to guide children to write poems about things they know and care about: from their siblings to stubby pencils to wearing braces!  In the book, she describes the way she asks children to study the model poem.  Routman explains her thinking aloud and drafting poems about her own life, and then children write on their own.

Students naturally want to write about people, pets, and issues that are important to them. I love the humor and play on words this student uses, when writing about her dog:
Love to Mama by Pat Mora is a beautiful and celebratory collection about the powerful bond between mothers, grandmothers, and children. Thirteen poets contribute to this anthology with joy, humor, and love This collection is not only about mothers, but women who are important in our lives. This is also a perfect time to think about Mothers’ Day, which is coming up right after Poetry Month. The illustrations are GORGEOUS: they are bright, colorful, and draw in the readers.
Using photos is another great way to elicit observations and descriptions. You can grab this set of tree photos HERE or by clicking on the photo below. Each photo is the same tree, taken from different viewpoints.
While I'm teaching from home during COVID19, poetry as been a great way for students to process their emotions. My kids made their own little books to use as their poetry book while at home. Feel free to share this video with your class to make their own book:
You can read more about teaching poetry HERE or HERE or by clicking on the titles below.
Click on the image below or HERE to listen to our latest podcast, episode 73: Book Talk Theme Talk: Poetry Books. Visit my We Teach So Hard podcast friends' blogs below for more ideas!

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