This unit is part of the L.W. Beecher School Institute team. The team involves the units of first grade teacher Geraldine Martin and music teacher Thomas Sullivan, along with my own. Though each of these units can be taught independently, we will work to integrate some of our material as we teach it at Beecher. All of these units are located in this volume. We hope that others who use any of these units might choose to broaden the scope of their involvement by working together with other teachers and classrooms. At Beecher we have found this approach to be quite productive. The team will attempt to use the skills of other teachers and staff members. Parents will be recruited to assist with our activities, especially our culminating activity, where they will be asked to coordinate refreshments, help in other areas which may present themselves-such as fundraising to finance the culminating activity-and even to participate in the team's final program.
The team has already met periodically while in the meantime we have developed our individual units. While we all aim to develop student appreciation of poetry and to use this as a vehicle to increase student-writing skills, each of us has a particular poet or area of focus. Along side my use of Shel Silverstein poems, Geraldine will target the works of Jack Prelutsky and Thomas will investigate poetry in relationship to music. During the school year in which we teach the units, we will continue meeting on a regular basis to arrange the specific integration of each classroom's activities. Some possibilities are mentioned in this unit, while others should develop as we actually teach our material. The team will also be planning our culminating activity, scheduled for April, and will attempt to develop strategies for including other staff members, administration and parents as the final event nears.