by Kaitlyn Guenther
Everywhere chocolate is hidden
So many children have
Easter is a great time of year, so
Remember not to eat the chocolate at once
Lesson One: First graders love rhyme. Begin this lesson by picking a rhyming family with many members, for instance, the “at” family – hat, cat, sat, mat, etc.
Brainstorm with students all the words in this family, writing them on the board as the students respond. Once the students exhaust the options, demonstrate putting the words in sentences where the rhyming word comes last. Example: See the big, yellow cat.
As the students come up with sentences, write them on the board. After everyone has had an opportunity to create a sentence, explain that together, you will put the sentences into three line poems. Ask them to pick the first sentence to start. Add to that sentence until you have three lines. Example: See the big, yellow cat. He wears a green hat. Did he see the rat?
Once done, congratulate the students on writing their first poems.
Lesson Two: After spending time listening to and reading rhymes, present students with the opportunity to write independently a rhyming poem. Tell them that they will write a poem about a dog. With this poetry handout, the students fill-in the blanks with rhyming words that describe a dog. (The first sentence helps them begin their rhyme.) Allow them to draw a picture to go with their poem. Allow students to use two rhymes if they wish.
Lesson Three: Some poetry has a cadence, a rhythm that students enjoy tapping out on instruments. Collaborating with the music teacher, have students tap out the rhythm of a poem using percussion instruments. Have them practice some simple iambic pentameter (i.e., Mary had a little lamb…) before going on to other rhythms. Give a concert for other classes or parents.
Lesson Four: Explain how poems paint pictures in our minds with words. Ask the students to close their eyes while you read them a poem that uses imagery (Fog, by Carl Sandburg, for example). Read it two or three times slowly. Remind the students to keep their eyes closed. They are to picture what you are reading to them. Now, have the students draw a picture of what they “saw” as you read.
Lesson Five: Acrostics and lantern poems help students use their vocabulary and develop their language skills.
An acrostic can be assigned at any time across subject matter. An easy way to start is to have students make acrostics of their own names. Each letter of their name is a new word or phrase.
Eyes of blue
Lantern poems are shaped like Chinese lanterns as each line is centered. The following format is modified from the typical form to help students practice their vocabulary.