Rhymes with “Nintendo”

January 21, 2009 at 10:12 pm Leave a comment

So my poetry project is going really well with my fourth graders — they’re quick to learn the poetry and a few are even excited to start writing poems. I got my first submissions today, and they had a common theme:

“TV, my TV,
I love my TV.
And also, the Wii”

and, from a different student,

“TV and the Wii

Are my favorite things.

You are what you eat.”

Well, they say to write what you know!

Besides limited content, there’s also a bit of confusion on what makes a rhyme. These kids are used to hearing English from native Spanish speakers, meaning that the thick accent makes words like “Can’t” and “Run” sound like they rhyme. So we spent almost a full hour today just coming up with rhyme pairings and closely listening to parse out what words actually rhyme.

After cycling through the “-at” words, the “-ig” words, the “-un” words, etc., one student offered “Monkey” and “Donkey” — pretty good, I thought. Two whole syllables! Soon they also had “Funky” “Junky” and, yes, “Honky.”

“Honky?” Asked the classroom teacher, a Spaniard whose English is almost perfect. “I don’t know that word. What does that mean?”

Hmm… how to explain epithets to your boss the day after Obama’s inauguration?

Overall, though, the lesson was a (shocking and unexpected) success.

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

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