Call for Poetry!

January 8, 2009 at 10:36 pm 3 comments

Kids’ poetry of course! I’ve decided that my big project for the semester is to have my fourth- and fifth-grade students memorize a poem a week. In ENGLISH.

Yes, this will be huge challenge, but part of teaching, I’ve learned, is having lofty goals and realistic expectations. For this reason, I’m trying to choose very simple, rhyming poems about subjects they know in English: weather, animals, foods, family, etc. I’m also giving them the incentive of prizes for every 5 poems they memorize or for every 5 they write, with correct grammar. The prize pencils are very sparkly, and I’m hoping this will motivate them a bit.

So what I need from you guys is suggestions of poems that you know or remember from when you were a kid.

I’m currently working off the very great Read-Aloud Rhymes for the Very Young, compiled by Jack Prelutsky. I brought it because it was the only kids poetry collection at home that was light enough for my luggage, but it’s also a wonderful collection of very simple, creative rhymes like this one by Edna Baker.

The monkey curled his tail about-

It looked like so much fun

That as I stood and watched him there,

I wished that I had one.

See? Perfect! Easy words that they mostly know (we’ll have to look up “curled”, but they’ll make the linguistic connection to curly hair), the grammatically complex but easily understood “wish” phrase, an aural rhyme, but distinct spellings, and a very straightforward topic.

Does anyone have another suggestion? A poem they thought was fun as a kid? You certainly don’t have to think deeply about any suggestions — I welcome all poems, and the students will too!

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Entry filed under: Poetry Wednesday, Uncategorized. Tags: , .

Academic habits Man, I’m behind the library times

3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. dr  |  January 12, 2009 at 7:13 pm

    Shel Silverstein. With the added benefit that they’re strange enough that you’ll have conversations about cultural context and literal/non-literal translations.

  • 2. Liz  |  January 13, 2009 at 11:02 pm

    Of course! I have no idea why Shel Silverstein wasn’t on my list in the first place. I’m sad to say, though, that I have not been allotted any time for discussions of the poems. Since I’m a lowly assistant, its a basic memorise-and-recite schedule. Hopefully discussion will spill over into my recess duty.

  • 3. My Mum’s Food « A Shrewdness of Apes  |  March 14, 2009 at 12:49 pm

    […] March 14, 2009 A submission from Poetry Wednesday (read about it here): […]

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