Poetry in the Primary Grades
Looking with your Poets Eye
Went to the corner Walked in the storeBought me some candyAint got it no moreAint got it no more
Went to the beach Played on the shore Built me a sandhouse Aint got it no moreAint got it no more
Went to the kitchenLay down on the floorMade me a poemStill got itStill got itThings by Eloise Greenfield
R. Andre Calderon- 1st Grade Bilingual4 1/2 years in HISDGross ElementaryDemographics: 63% African American 25% Hispanic 8% Native American and Asian/Pacific Islander 4% Caucasian
TAKS and TEKS4.W1.415.A Write to express, develop, reflect on ideas and to problem solve.1.2e Write for personal or creative expression and reflection.
Poetry is the boullion cube of literature.
TAKS and TEKS4.W1.415.E Exhibit an identifiable voice in personal narratives and in stories
1.2g Write with a variety of literary devices. Define and provide examples of and use these strategies in authentic forms.
Literary Devices used in PoetryAlliterationFigures of speech (hyperbole, simile)DescriptionImageryOnomatopoeiaRhymerhythm
TheoryIn the K-1 classroom, children convey their meaning more easily though drawing than through print. Drawing, therefore, can provide a supportive scaffolding for the writing. Because more information is embedded in the pictures than in the print, drawing provides a horizon and leads the child deeper into the writing. In a sense the goal in the primary classroom is to have writing catch up with their drawing. -Lucy Calkins
Theory from Calkins Art of Teaching WritingPoetry is also a powerful genre because its condensed nature. Because poems can be very short, every child in every classroom can be a poet. The genre is accessible even to five year old writers who labor over the mechanics of putting pen to paper. Poetry offers a powerful forum for teaching young writers to make reading-writing connections. When students read Judy Blume novels, its not easy for them to match their writing to their reading, but when they read an Eloise Greenfield poem, reading-writing connections feel far more possible.
More Theory by CalkinsPoetry is powerful because of the ways it can enrich peoples lived lives. Poems can be read aloud at Thanksgiving dinner or at a babys baptism. Poems can be put onto greeting cards or framed and given as gifts. Poems can also be woven into the life of a classroom community-posted next to the aquarium, chanted as a ritualized opening to every days math class, hung on the classroom door as a motto for the community.
Of course, it is true for the writer as for the jeweler and the sculptor that the magic is never in the material alone, but in the artists ability to re-imagine it.-L. Calkins
Looking with your Poets Eyes!
Asparagusby Valerie WorthLike a nestOf snakesAwakened, craningLong necked Out of theGround: to standWith sharpScaly headsAlert, tastingThe airTaking the sunLooking around
Apple by Nan FryAt the center, a dark starWrapped in white When you bite, listenFor the crunch of boots on snow Snow that has ripened. Over it Stretches the starry sky.
ModificationsFor learning challenged: Work in small group or one on one to orally describe objects before writing.For ESL: Provide manipulatives and physical, tangible examples of descriptions to help with comprehension.
BibliographyCalkins, Lucy (1994) The Art of Teaching Writing. Heinemann, Portsmouth, NH.Fletcher, R. (1993). What a Writer Needs. Heineman, Portsmouth, NH.Ryan, M. (1996) How to Write a Poem. Grolier, Danbury, CT.