I started out by showing them how poets can write poems about ANYTHING! My favorite poet to read to them to prove this point is Valerie Worth. Her poems are short, simple, and about very random things!
I put random objects on their tables and told them to look at them with poets eyes. They looked very closely, noticed the details and started writing!
Next we talked about white space and making a poem "look like a poem." We tell them that they can have fun with their words! They don't have to follow the conventional rules of writing! They loved this and those who had been having trouble with the conventional rules of writing really flourished. Students took clipboards everywhere so they could look at the world with poets eyes and write poems...especially when we went outside!
We started reading and focussing on some different types of poetry that they could write. Free Verse, "Sound Poems," picture poems where you incorporate the words into the pictures, -ing poems, list poems, etc. Most seemed to enjoy Free Verse.
After most had written close to 20 poems, they picked out one poem for our class book. This was the poem they would read for our Poetry Celebration.
This Poetry Celebration became a very large project! They came up with some menu ideas and collected data to find out which treat to make for our parents.
Some worked on centerpieces for our tables to provide a beautiful setting.
Our next step was to make the tortes.
We wrote invitations for our families to join us.
We set up the room and made it beautiful for our families visit!
Our poetry books were displayed proudly on our tables.
The kids went through and practiced reading all of their poems in their poetry books.
We set out the refreshments.
When everything was ready, the parents came in and the kids each read their poem. We had jazz music playing in the background to add more atmosphere and snapped for our friends to show how much we loved their poems. They did such a beautiful job!
After the poetry readings, the kids read to their parents from their own poetry books that they had written themselves and enjoyed some refreshment.
It was such a lovely time and I truly love connecting with the families. The kids were so proud of all that they had accomplished. Writing poetry gave them a new purpose for writing and a new way to explore writing. They were excited and focused. Knowing they would be presenting to their families gave them a purpose and this made them do their personal best on every page! I do this every year because of the wonderful learning and life experiences that come from it every single time.