Back to school, that is. I thoroughly enjoyed my break - family, delicious treats, and The Blacklist, 24/7. I probably gained nine pounds in two weeks due to excessive Reese's stuffed in my face and that apple pie the hubby demanded.
Oh, yes, I am now paying the price.
Anyway, I thought I'd share a poem freebie with you today and a handy strategy for teaching poetry!
I wrote this poem a couple of years ago because my students were struggling to differentiate possessive nouns from plural nouns. But it works for more than just that!
We frequently use poetry for word work, but we can get so much more mileage out of a poem if we take the time to do some comprehension work with it. One strategy my primary teachers have used is gathering evidence to decide what the poem is mostly about. Sounds simple, but how many kids would say the poem above is all about a snowman melting, when most of the poem is about building the snowman? They often remember the last lines they read!
1. On chart paper, the teacher creates a blank bubble map. Each student has a copy of the poem with the title whited out or cut off.
2. Each pair of students receives a post-it to record one piece of evidence that shows what they think the poem is about. These are direct lines or phrases from the poem that they think are important.
3. The teacher collects these post-its and sticks them onto the map. Then she reads them all aloud and gives the partners one minute to decide what they think the poem is mostly about. We're looking for a sentence that encapsulates the topic or event of the poem.
4. Then, the class creates a new title for the poem using what they think it's mostly about.
It's surprising what a challenge this can be for our struggling readers, but with practice, they are able to decide the topic of the poem using evidence.
Be sure to grab your Snowman poem freebie above!
Have a Happy New Year!