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Showing posts from 2013

Performance Plus POETRY

The following collection of poems, chants and rhymes is presented for active service in classrooms. They have been successfully presented and performed by teachers and students over a period of time. I trust that you, the reader, will find new and exciting ways to link them into your literacy program.  Let's Begin... I remember clearly the chants and rhymes that were part of my school days. "Tip, top, taxi One two three Tip ,top, taxi You're not he !  I still like to tune into the poetry of today's playground people. Children are constantly inventing rhymes and chants and the words they use reflect a poetic thread. Rhyme and rhythm play an active part in many of the games children play. They are part of the performance. The poems included in this post have been chosen because they have shown themselves to be suitable to performance. The presentation may be in a variety of groupings: ·   whole class ·   small group ·   individual.


List poems are an easy and successful way to get children feeling more comfortable with poetry. They are to be found in the poetry of many cultures and have been employed successfully by many contemporary poets. Here are some ideas that will assist you to be even more successful with this widely used poetic form. Poems are frequently full of surprises and a list poem requires the same. It needs to be more than a shopping list. You need a  variety  of items and when considering what to include. Be specific! Use colorful names for people, animals and objects. Use varied syntax (sentence structure) Try leaving the title until the poem is completed Be prepared to rearrange the items in your list to obtain the best possible effect.  A big list is more effective than a short one. These poems need to be read with feeling and rhythm  If you like the idea of List poems, check out Douglas Florian. His work makes frequent use of the list poem structure and his illustr

NARRATIVE POETRY- Grandma Doesn't Understand Picasso

Amy, a former student, inspired this poem. We sat next to each other on a bus when I accompanied a group of students on an excursion to a local art gallery. Her opening remarks became the title for this poem. Ideas emerge when we least expect. We must be ready to catch them. GRANDMA DOESN’T UNDERSTAND PICASSO I don’t think my Gran likes Picasso His paintings leave her agog She is puzzled by Pablo Picasso - A dog should look like a dog ! Landscapes are more to her liking And portraits of luminous folk Or some beauty draped on a soft velvet couch Wearing a long flowing cloak Gran can’t approve of Picasso His arrangement of line, form and size She stares at his paintings and mumbles Terrible !  triangular eyes? Gran’s clearly not keen on Picasso But she’s no weeping woman you see For she takes me to all the galleries And that’s made some impression on me One day I may be a painter And use an impressionist style But for now I like lookin

NARRATIVE POETRY -Supermarket Sally

I have always viewed supermarkets as a necessary evil. The meeting place of the modern hunter and gatherer. I enter with trepidation. I gather and go. However, I am grateful to supermarkets for giving me this particular poem a few years back after witnessing certain supermarket events. Hope you enjoy it... Aisle Be Seeing You Supermarket Sally  I fell in love with a check out chick The girl from checkout three I fell in love with her Because, she spoke to me She said, Do you want a bag with these? And held up my two tins of dog food and super hero motif underpants for everyone to see And I was all aglow As people stared at me Her name was Sally Tanner She was a wizard with the scanner She zapped and zipped Zipped and zapped No item could evade her trap She was supermarket Sally In her neatly pressed white blouse A goddess of the grocery store Oh, I could watch her zap for hours But I saw her kissing Fabian Beside the fresh fruit st

Shining More Light on LUNES

Some years ago, while consulting with a Brooklyn school situated near the Naval Yards, I met an author by the name of Jack Collom. Jack had written a book with Sheryl Noethe titled,'Poetry Everywhere' (Teachers & Writers Collaborative.2000) and on that day was sharing some of his poetry experiences with students. It just so happened that I was carrying with me that day, my copy of the book, and Jack graciously signed it for me.  Jack and Sheryl's book introduced me to 'LUNES' -a simple three line poetry form, providing probationary poets with lots of word fun. Lunes have just the right amount of challenge for young poets, and a supportive structure to encourage the writer to be brave.  First line -3 words Second Line - 5 words Third Line - 3 words (usually with a twist or unexpected outcome) Unlike it's ancestor, the haiku, it counts words not syllables, and it is not confined to nature or the seasons. It just needs eleven well chosen words, and the

Spring Into Poetry

'The key to teaching poetry isn't drilling the vocabulary into your students and having them practice how to recognize iambic pentameter -- the key is getting them motivated. Show them the poetry you enjoy, and explain with genuine enthusiasm why you like it. Let them see what drastically different authors have done. Teach children how to appreciate poetry, and they will understand it. Understanding will lead to their own love of poetry, and that love will carry them forward.' Gregory Webster With these words ringing in my ears, I intend to set myself a challenge and post a poem everyday for the month of September. It's spring in Australia, so I'm springing into verse. Ironically, the first poem I ever recall writing way back in about Grade 2 was about spring... Today, the sun is shining... I AM THE SUN     I am the sun I provide warmth Encouraging daffodils to bloom I warm your back And instantly you are dreaming of beach days

Poetry Across The Curriculum

The Poet's Suitcase Revealed! Collect poetry that reflects the cultural group you are studying –poetry by and about. Collect pictures of areas your class is studying. Have students write a poem that matches a picture. Do a shared writing session with your students where you a poem together about the heritage or customs of the people or region you are studying. Ask students to organize a collection of poems relating to their own culture. You could organize them around such categories as celebrations, families, food, holidays. Collect photo essays, newspaper and magazine articles, informational books, and historical fiction for students to use as source material for poetry Have students dramatize poems by sharing lines or stanzas. Suggest that they vary solo voices with group voices to enhance meaning. Make weather poems using weather reports as the basis for ideas. Explore landforms through

Black Out POETRY

As a poet, I am constantly looking for ideas and inspiration. So naturally, I was excited when I came across this poetry pearl of an idea when checking Twitter last evening. It comes from Austin Kleon, an Austin , Texas based artist and writer. Austin calls this method for composing poetry ‘Blackout Poetry.’ He uses newspaper pages to redact the original text with permanent markers to eliminate words not required, thus leaving only those words essential for creating the desired message. Austin encourages fellow poets to dive right in and try blacking out and then sharing the resultant poems on his web site. This strategy works in a similar fashion to ‘found poems’ and ‘river poems’ in so much as it brings old pages back to life by using the words in an enterprising and creative way. I can imagine Blackout poems working really well with the student writers I meet, as it allows them full control over the composition they

Book Spine POEMS

To try this poetry idea you need to gather a plentiful supply of books. I went to my personal library, scanned the shelves for suitable titles before arranging them in an order that provided some cohesive flow of ideas.  When I was satisfied with the order, I photographed my brand new spine poem. An easy,fun way to engage young poets and more experienced poets in creating words of wonder and delight.

Collage Poetry

Here are a couple of Collage poems. All you need to get started are some magazines or newspapers a pair of scissors, a camera and eventually some glue, should you wish to immortalize your creation. Lots of fun for the word nerd with in you.