TEACHING POETRY IN ELEMENTARY SCHOOL

When we studied homonyms, I found a delightful book, Your Aunt is a Witch, which presents homonym pairs in easy to remember rhymes.  The cover alone catches the eye of the reluctant reader. I converted the rhymes into a painless but practical worksheet series for the students to illustrate.  Here is one of the rhymes converted into worksheet style:

Little Prince Randolph is ( heir  air ) to the throne,

And some day he will be king.

He simply adores to fly through the ( heir   air )

On his solid gold, diamond-trimmed swing!

After the children pick the correct word, there is space to illustrate the rhyme.

When we discussed literal vs figurative language, I found The King Who Reigned a humorous combination of figurative images illustrated by literal drawings which also dealt with confusing homonyms. The children enjoyed making their own funny illustrations of “She’s all ears,” and “Someone’s on the phone,” and others they thought up themselves.

Poetry was a daily occurrence in my classroom, and as far as I was able, I “sneaked it in” to whatever we were studying at the time. We did not scan, analyze, or dissect the poems, but we did talk about what made them work and how they made us feel.

Poetry can be “worked in” and become a part of the classroom life and activities; it just takes a little ingenuity and a desire to get students thinking along poetry lines.

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Author: Rae Longest

This year, I will have been a member of AAUW (American Association of University Women) for fifty years, a life time member (which means my fellow AAUW members will begin to pay my annual dues. (ha ha) In the 80's we began a book group to share our love of reading, books,and fellowship with other women and girls who loved the same. We resurrected the group on-line in September of 2015 and went on from there (See "Introduction",first blog). This is my first experience at blogging or publishing anything and is becomes more fun with each blog posted. I am currently teaching as an adjunct at The University of Houston Clear Lake. This makes my 27th year there after three years at Alvin Community College and an almost-twenty year career as a classroom teacher with Alvin Independent School District. Reading and writing are "in my blood" just like teaching is. I hope you enjoy the blog.

8 thoughts on “TEACHING POETRY IN ELEMENTARY SCHOOL”

  1. I used to teach college level children’s lit, and that was what I tried to impart to my students (all future teachers of K-8): don’t dissect the poetry–let them first see how it makes them feel!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. …until they get to the exam syllabus which DEMANDS they pick poems apart, word by word… sadly! Lovely fresh approach to teaching small children who are hardwired to enjoy poetry anyway.

    Liked by 1 person

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