As a simple introduction into teaching this unit, I will read a few nursery rhymes to my students. Most of the rhymes I use will be short, four-line stanzas. These nursery rhymes will be easy for my students and most of them will have been exposed to them at an early age. This lesson will be simple and brief. They will recall and possibly recite, with very little difficulty, a few of their favorite nursery rhymes. Some of my more out-spoken students will recite a few lines of their favorite songs. Many music videos and lyrics from songs are overflowing with rhythm and rhyme. After I read a few nursery rhymes, I will briefly discuss the importance of poetry. I will inform them that poetry is a form of literature and it uses words in a special way. The students will be able to see and understand that poetry usually tells a story and describe a picture. For my students, nursery rhymes will work well in this aspect-words in poems that relate to a picture. Reading nursery rhymes to my class will be putting them in a comfortable setting to explore.
The students will enjoy the travel back in time with nursery rhymes. They will bring in their "baby books" of simple rhymes. I will place these timeless treasure books on a display table in a designated area in the classroom. I will have a nice display of poetry books in the classroom. There are many poetry books by children and for children. Many of these books are beautifully illustrated and wonderful to include in your personal or classroom library. I will read all kinds of poetry to my students. It will give them more understanding about how colorful, comical and powerful words can be in a poetic and fun way. They will be able to appreciate the literature. As always and especially throughout instruction of this unit, it is essential to read, read and read various poetry books to my students.
I will read poetry aloud to my students in small and in large group settings. I will encourage my students to select poetry books to read from the school library. Silent Sustained Reading (SSR) is a great time for students to read these books on their own. Literacy will remain a focal point throughout the instruction of this unit. Reading, verbal expression, writing, oral recall is just a few objectives contained in this unit. Many of the students that I teach are not great writers, but they express themselves well verbally. I will record many of their verbal responses on the blackboard or on chart paper. My students will use these responses later. Again, use what works best for complete comprehension of poetic expression with your students.
I will take a break from nursery rhymes and read
"Ten -Second Rainshowers" Poems
by Young People compiled by Sandford Lyne. It is a great collection of poems by young poets ages eight to eighteen. These poems will relate to my own students due to the similar and personal experiences they'll share. Another fun poetry book for my students is
"Mrs. Cole on an Onion Roll" and Other School Poems
by Kalli Dakos. This book is also fantastic because it's a collection of poems celebrating life in school. Building background and connecting to life experiences is part of the literacy focus. I will prepare my students to become great readers and writers of poetry.