Making Connections with Poetry

Even though my third-grade writers are in the midst of our personal narrative unit, I am looking for ways to weave a little poetry in here and there. I pulled out my two big baskets of poetry books for students to look over, read, and share. As a group, we generated a list of feelings and emotions we thought were brought about by the poetry.

I quickly wrote the words up on the white board and passed out a sticky note to each student.

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“Find a line or stanza of poetry that you think connects to one of these feelings. Jot the line and the author’s name.” Students got busy and very quickly they had made their choices and posted the lines. I went through each one. A few of the lines I didn’t recognize and I really liked them so I had students go retrieve the right book so I could read it aloud to the class.

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Following this portion of the lesson, I asked students how this might help them as writers. We thought maybe we could “steal” a line for a story or our own poem. Some students talked about how listing all those feelings helped them think of interesting words. One of the lines was about the stillness of a mountain and the only movement being the eye of a black bird. Students thought that was really detailed and maybe trying to write details as small as a bird’s eye would also help their writing.

Afterward, I showed students a new tool we will begin using soon. It is a virtual Inspiration Board on Padlet. Students can do a similar activity on their own and add inspirational feeling filled lines and stanzas of poetry. When a student is struggling to come up with an idea for a story or wants to write their own poem, they can visit the Inspiration Board! I’m excited to try this new tool. This year I will have more access to technology more often so I am hopeful that students will be able to interact with the board frequently during both reading and writing workshop. This, for me, will be a quick and easy way to infuse poetry throughout the year and expose students to all kinds of language, poets, and hopefully inspiration!

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