Poetry Detectives

October 17, 2012

This week, we have started a short unit on poetry. My absolute favorite! I love it because I like to see how creative kids get when they are given the freedom to put their ideas down any way they like. (You can see some of their apple-inspired poems {here}.)

At the beginning of every new unit, we start an anchor chart to analyze some mentor texts. I usually put a picture of the title (or poem, in this case), the author’s name and what we notice about the author’s technique.

The trouble with poetry is that there’s just SO DARN MUCH of it. All different kinds, authors, lengths…you name it. So, I planned on sharing 3 poems as class mentor texts. Which didn’t seem like enough. At all.

They really needed to see more examples than just 3. And notice more things than 3 poems could provide.

So….I sifted through my poetry books and pulled several poems that I thought had a lot of elements of poetry sprinkled throughout. I made color copies (shhhhhhh! Don’t tell!) and put them all together in a little packet.

After we worked on the poems for the chart together, they took a packet with their partner and used this graphic organizer –

– to record what they noticed. We have been focusing on what the author does as a writer, so I asked them to try and notice things about the writing, NOT the topic.

After they worked with their partners, we had a discussion as a class about things they noticed in a lot of the poems or all of them.

Our goal was to have a list of elements that can guide our study of poetry and tell us what we need to include in our poems! I think the lesson went pretty well and the kids enjoyed reading all the different poems. I totally forgot to take a picture of the list….but I will try to remember to add it in!

Tomorrow, it’s on to figurative language and similes! 🙂

If you think the graphic organizer would be useful to your study of poetry, you can download it for FREE at my TpT store! Just click the picture below to take you there!

 Do you use mentor texts in your classroom? Leave a comment below to tell me how!

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