Friday, March 1, 2013

Week 22

Poetry Lesson with 6th Grade
Targeted Skills: Analyze poetry for language, purpose, and meaning

As a former high school English teacher, I miss the days of analyzing poetry, so when my 6th grade teachers asked me to help them with a poetry lesson, I was thirlled! I chose 4 poems from this great anthology, Poetry After Lunch. We did a tri-fold and labeled each column "Poem Title," "My Thoughts," and "Analysis."

After writing down the title, we read the poem and then students wrote down their initial thoughts. I pointed out that sometimes poetry makes you ask questions, so it's okay to be confused and not understand it. I urged them to write down questions if they had any confusion. We then discussed the three ways to analyze a poem by answering these three questions:
  • What do you notice about the language? (Does it rhyme? What figuruative language do you notice?)
  • What do you notice about the structure? (Does it tell a story? Does it share an emotion? Does it follow a certain pattern?)
  • What does the poem mean to you? (There is more than one meaning to a poem.)
We started with some "easy" poems by Shell Silverstein and then worked our way up to some more advanced ones. I think it is important that students are exposed to poetry throughout the year rather in just a single "unit" or week. We need to sprinkle more poetry into our lessons so that students will have more exposure to it, and therefore, more of an appreciation.

Students then got to participate in "Make a Date with a Book" if they wanted to. Please see this post for more details.
Lesson Frame:

Looking at Lincoln by Maira Kalman
Read to 3rd Grade
Targeted Skills: Discuss Genre; historical significance; Facts learned from reading

Since my 3rd graders finished their research on presidents, I thought this would be a great choice to share with them--and also in honor of Lincoln's birthday, which was that week. This is a selection on next year's Bluebonnet list, and it's one of my new favorites.

We discussed genre and text evidence to support the fact that it was a biography. Students then turned and talked about some interesting facts that they learned about Lincoln.

Lesson Frame:

Red-Eyed Tree Frog by Joy Cowley
Kindergarten Research
Targeted Skills: Listen for Facts; Write Facts; Discuss the purpose of Expository Text 

I fully admit that I get a little squeamish at the thought of Kindergarten research. (God bless those dear Kinder teachers, every one of them). Instead of full-blown research, we ease into it with a read-aloud and note-taking activity. I want to stress the idea that we use Nonfiction books (Expository) to do our research because they contain facts. I read this fabulous book and then we complete the chart over the animal. Students then check out their own animal book to complete a research project with their parents at home. Easy-peezy!
Please pardon my drawing. I am NOT an artist.
Lesson Frame:

And the rest of the week was spent getting ready for the Book Fair and Preview Day. Oh Joy!!

I'm predicting this will be a sell-out...

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