Friday, September 21, 2012

Is Your Class Celebrating Poetry Friday?

If I could produce a commercial, I would make one for the celebration of Poetry Friday. We just celebrated our first Poetry Friday last week and before we even started I had grunts, groans and actually a comment, "Are we really doing poetry every Friday?" It saddened me, and I just had to pause for a moment and tell myself that my goal is to shift their thinking about poetry this year.

I wonder: what is your class feeling about poetry this year?  I sure got an instant barometer on my class about their feelings.  If you have never tried Poetry Friday here is a link to how I started to celebrate Poetry Friday in my classroom. I would encourage you to try celebrating poetry this year.

I put up an overhead of the poem "Smelly Locker"  from Smelly Locker: Silly Dilly School Songs . I always start the year with singing poetry. It was interesting to see their bodies shift in their seats as they first read the poem silently. Then we sang Frere Jacque and a few more students were warming up to the idea.  Finally we sang the poem aloud to the tune of Frere Jacque.  A few students started moving in their seats; one student stood up and started dancing. So I suggested we sing it again with motions that could be made up as they were singing. At this point half the class was standing and dancing, many of the them copying their goofy teacher singing and dancing right along with them.  After we finished singing, I asked them about how they liked the poem?  One student blurted out: "That was not poetry."  I inquired, and we discussed the organization of it:  stanza, rhyme pattern, theme etc.  Slowly their thinking began to shift.  

We will continue to have fun with poetry on Friday - will you be joining us?

This week Renee has the Poetry Roundup at  No Water River


  1. YES!! We are doing poetry every Friday. My kids are writing limericks today. I hope to hook them by making them giggle all morning!

  2. Hi Maria, I know what you mean about children's feelings about poetry. I hosted a book club for young readers in my home last December and there was one 11 year old, an avid reader and a kindred, who told me that she dislikes poetry. I was floored by that statement - she claims that it's just so difficult to grasp and so complex that she gets impatient with it. I was taken aback since it came from someone who is evidently a book-lover. I'm not sure if I managed to change her mind about poetry, but I did try to introduce her to "Joyful Noise" and a few other poetry books that she appeared to enjoy, thankfully. :)

  3. Best wishes in your Poetry Friday journey this year, Maria! What a great experience you describe as the kids ACTED OUT that poem and actually enjoyed it.

    Will you be using the new Poetry Friday Anthology as well? I've shared it with a few teachers in town and can't wait to hear how it goes in their classrooms. Keep us posted on your class!

  4. When I taught first grade I always had a new poem for them on Wed. I had so much fun choosing the poems. They really loved looking forward to learning them and it helped with reading as well. I still run into students who remember and can recite them! It's really a wonderful habit to build!

  5. Maria, if you want to give your students a(nother) reason to learn poetry, tell them that they'll need to be ready to vote in next year's March Madness poetry tournament! -Ed

  6. Thanks for all the comments what a pleasant surprise on a Friday evening. Yes I will be sharing the Poetry Friday anthology once I hook them with singing and dancing some fun poems. Today we sang "Oh Susanna" to My Backpack is Heavy.
    Great times on Friday!

  7. Nothing like poetry once a week - we have Poetry every Thursday, and I think it's one of our favorite "things" to do.