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Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Person of Poetry

My teaching partner and I traded duties at the semester break, so I no longer teach first graders at the end of the day. Instead, I work with 3rd and 2nd graders in the library and visit a 5th grade class to share a poem. The latter had me a bit worried. Would I be able to engage them as my colleague had done during first semester?

My job is to bring a single poem to the class, tell about bit about the poet, and read the poem aloud. I type it for them to keep in a Daily Poetry binder in case they want to reread any of the poems. Yesterday afternoon was the test. I first asked them to help compose a title for me (she was the "poet laureate") that was somehow alliterative. Poetry Performer. Poet Person. And then Person of Poetry. That is what I will be for those 10-15 minutes each day until June 6th.

Yesterday's choice was "Icicles" by Barbara Juster Esbensen, taken from Cold Stars and Fireflies. They listened carefully and noted the images she created with her well-chosen words. We all envisioned how "the sun plays them like a glass xylophone  a crystal harp." Their reactions were wonderful.

Today's choice came from Karla Kuskin's collection Moon, Have You Met My Mother? and was about snow play. They noted her witty word play and wondered what it is called when a poet puts rhyming words in the middle of subsequent lines. I do not know. They also taught me about enjambment, and we agreed she successfully did that.

What a wonderful way to end the school day!


  1. I adore that you and LMK have joined me in sharing poetry in such a meaningful way. Two heads are always better than one and three is a certain treat!

    I will be sad when this class moves on as they are truly something special!

    So glad you are part of their journey!

  2. I wish I could be a 5th grader in your class! Thanks for sharing your lessons here!

  3. is it possible the "rhyming words in the middle of subsequent lines" is "internal rhyme"? i wish i had a poetry binder of my own with all of your selections in it. in fact i wish i was in the classroom for these poetry sessions.

    1. I think you are right, Brattcat. I checked a few sources to confirm it :) Thank you!

  4. Hurrah for poetry, and librarians who share it!