My school year is broken into 6 week units for science, social studies, reading comprehension and writing. During the last 6 weeks, I am teaching the forest in science, making judgments in reading and poetry in writing. However, we are also working on end of the year assessments, like UK National Testing and Map Testing, and putting together online portfolios and a Spring Show, so needless to say, the last 6 weeks of school are kicking my but! We’ve managed to do a lot with our forest unit, but I have felt as if our poetry unit was suffering, so I went back to an old standby this week – my Poetry Writing Journal (available at my TPT store for $10.)
We spent an hour reviewing each of the different types of poetry, using the reference sheet at the beginning of the poetry journal and writing our own examples of each type of poem focused around the topic of the forest on the board. I then typed up our class examples and stapled it at the back of my students’ Poetry Writing Journals. (Feel free to download this sheet for free from Google Docs if you’d like to use it with your class.) All week long, whenever there was a minute, between testing, play practice, and other activities, we pulled out our Poetry Writing Journals and worked on writing poetry. Because the Writing Journals already have every step from brainstorming, to drafting, to editing and revising, it is an easy way for my students to work along at their own pace.
I really love teaching poetry at this time of the year, because poetry breaks all the rules and lets kids explode with creativity at a time of the year when they are totally done with school and rules! During the last week of school, we will choose our favorite poems to publish and share with the class.
If you’re still in school, how are you wrapping up the school year?