Poem of the Week: How I Use it in My Classroom and a Back to School Freebie!

Poetry is such a great tool for teaching most curriculum concepts including decoding, fluency, sight word building and just about any other concept you can think of.  The natural flow of the words, the often catchy rhymes, and the silliness of children's poems make them ideal for using in the classroom.

Read on to find out how I use poetry in my classroom to develop fluency, decoding skills and more.

I use a Poem of the Week strategy in my classroom.  We focus on one poem per week and we read it everyday! This is a key aspect to developing fluency. The repetitive reading allows students to become very familiar with the text so that they are no longer thinking about decoding. They can focus on how they are sounding as they're reading.

On Monday I introduce the new poem.  I project it onto our smartboard or use the document camera to show it nice and large (or if you like it ol'skool you can write it out on chart paper...I still do this sometimes too).

You can use sticky notes to cover some of the words (I use my powerpoint Guess the Covered Word File and just slide the boxes across the screen or have students slide the word across on the smartboard....you can check out that file by clicking here).

During the rest of the week we do shared reading with the poems and then I use the poems to teach various mini lessons.  For example, at the beginning of the year I use my Back to School poem to talk about "making connections".  I also demonstrate various world solving/decoding strategies using the poems.

One of my poems is all about probability.  Here is an example of a follow up activity to the poem:

Not only are they using sight words but they are making predictions based on the spinner and then graphing the sight words. It's a great way to make literacy cross-curricular.

At the start of each week I add our new poem to our poetry folders for students to use during Daily 5: Read to Self or Read to Someone. I also keep the poem projected onto our smartboard so if students are reading the room they can read it or other students can see it from across the room if they are still working on an activity page.

Usually once a week I put an activity related to our poem in our Daily 5 Word Work station.

I also print out the poem of the week sentence strips for students to reconstruct the poem.  Having the poem posted in the room or projected somewhere makes it easy for them to remember the order. You could also give them their own copy of the poems in a folder.  Personally, I try to save paper so I only print out 5 copies of the poem for our partner reading and read to self folders.  Projecting it seems to save paper.

I enlarge the sentence strips to make it easier for cutting. Another idea is to print them onto card stock, laminate and cut out for future use.  Then you can keep the sentence strips at a literacy station.

I have 10 poetry packs in my store that include 4 original poems with 5 activities for each poem.  I also have 2 smaller bundles where you can get packs 1-5 or packs 6-10 and finally, I just finished the MEGA bundle of 40 original (written by yours truly) poems with the accompanying activities! Each poem has a fill in the blanks page, a poem reconstruction (scramble) activity, a nouns, verbs, and adjectives activity, and 2 other activities that change depending on the poem (e.g., making words, rainbow write it, word sorts, comprehension pages, etc.).

To get this MEGA Bundle you can click here or on the images below:

I've also got a First Grade Poem of the Week bundle. To check it our CLICK HERE!

Just in time for Back to School I have a FREEBIE for you!! Click here or the image below: