Poetry Day

April is national poetry month and I decided to highlight poetry for the second graders who regularly come to visit. We read different types of poems, from silly to serious, talked about some great poets, and wrote some verse together. I found a Shel Silverstein activity kit in my office, so I incorporated some of those ideas.

I started by reading Casey at the Bat, Ernest L Thayer, ills C.E. Payne. Casey at the Bat: A Ballad of the Republic Sung in the Year 1888
For these types of events, I like to start by getting the kids to talk and finding out what they already know. So I asked them a series of questions, or enough questions to open up the kids. So what do you think we are going to talk about? Baseball? History? No Poetry! What can you tell me about poetry? Turns out they knew quite a bit about poetry!

Dark Emperor and Other Poems of the Night
From that I read them some samples of different types of poetry, first: “The Ballad of the Wandering Eft,” from Dark Emperor and Other Poems of the Night, Joyce Sidman. After which we talked about what you could learn from that poem.

Falling Up “Hypnotized” from Falling Up, Shel Silverstein. A good example of a silly poem (and one we used later on for poetry mad libs. The kids pretended they were hypnotized when I read it to them)

African Acrostics: A Word in Edgeways “Eye to Eye” from African Acrostics: A Word in Edgeways, Avis Harley. Both informational, and a fun introduction to a new poetry form. I read another poem to give the kids an idea of how it works, they understood the concept when we actually wrote the poem.

The last poem transitioned us into our first activity: writing an Acrostic Poem for Library.

Here is our completed poem:
L Lots of fun,
I It’s a place to check out books;
B Books have lots of words, and are
R Roaring Good,
A Awesome!
R Read to succeed,
Y Yummy Books!

After we wrote our first poem, I read some more poetry:

Mirror Mirror: A Book of Reversible Verse “Longing for Beauty” from Mirror Mirror, Marilyn Singer. Reversable verse is a new kind of poetry, and I ended up reading another poem to fully convey how the poetry worked. I think the teachers were more interested in how it worked then the students.

Love That Dog I ended with book talking Love That Dog, Sharon Creech. A novel in verse about verse; what could be better? Well it is written so that kids this age could understand it.

We finished up with Poetry MadLibs, from the Shel Silverstein activity kit:
Hypnotized:
How would you like to get hypnotized? (Verb)__________ deep, deep into my (plural noun) _____________. Now you’re getting (adjective)___________, falling deep, deep, deep—asleep, And I have you in my power. (Verb)_______ the (noun)__________ for half an hour. Shine my shoes, (verb)________ my hair, Wash out all my (noun)____________. Do my homework, scratch my (noun)_______, Cook me up a great (adjective)___________ stack of (plural noun)_____________, and go wash my (noun) _________ . Get some (plural noun) _________ and fix the gate. Now wake up and (verb)________ your eyes. Wasn’t it (adjective)__________ to be hypnotized?

Here is our completed Mad Lib
How would you like to get hypnotized? Run deep, deep into my dogs. Now you’re getting fat, falling deep, deep, deep—asleep, And I have you in my power. Jog the knife for half an hour. Shine my shoes, play video games in my hair, Wash out all my McDonalds. Do my homework, scratch my Isabella, Cook me up a great big stack of libraries, and go wash my astronauts. Get some women and fix the gate. Now wake up and cartwheel your eyes. Wasn’t it brown to be hypnotized?

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