Reflections and Resources from Tarheelstate Teacher: It's {almost} a Wrap! 2014-2015 Top 10 Highlights #5 Poetry Workshop
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It's {almost} a Wrap! 2014-2015 Top 10 Highlights #5 Poetry Workshop

First, let me say, I kept Poetry Workshop SOOO simple this year. It was our last hour before the weekend and was a great way to expose my students to different poetic techniques and allow my students to be creative with writing and illustrating. I have lots of plans to amp up Poetry Workshop next year, but today I'll just share the basics of what we did this year.

Learn the benefits of poetry workshop in your upper elementary classroom & how you can make it work. Great to integrate reading and writing into each day. This teacher gives examples to use, resources to try, great examples, and more! Click through to see if you can make this work with your 3rd, 4th, 5th, or 6th grade classroom or homeschool students. Make your poem unit last the entire year. {third, fourth, fifth, or sixth grader}

{Note: Links to books in this post may be affiliate links. This means that I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com. Read my full disclosure here.}

Learn the benefits of poetry workshop in your upper elementary classroom & how you can make it work. Great to integrate reading and writing into each day. This teacher gives examples to use, resources to try, great examples, and more! Click through to see if you can make this work with your 3rd, 4th, 5th, or 6th grade classroom or homeschool students. Make your poem unit last the entire year. {third, fourth, fifth, or sixth grader}Learn the benefits of poetry workshop in your upper elementary classroom & how you can make it work. Great to integrate reading and writing into each day. This teacher gives examples to use, resources to try, great examples, and more! Click through to see if you can make this work with your 3rd, 4th, 5th, or 6th grade classroom or homeschool students. Make your poem unit last the entire year. {third, fourth, fifth, or sixth grader}

During the first week of school, we created heart maps, which many teachers use the idea {originated from Georgia Heard's Awakening the Heart}



I was able to find a good number of free templates for students to use on TPT (here, and here). I printed multiple copies of each design and allowed students to choose the design they wanted to use.

This is one of those activities I do most every year, but it's also one of those that I go back and forth about {perhaps because it feels like "same-old, same-old"}. However, I really wanted to have an artistic activity the first week of school AND I am so glad I had students create heart maps this year. I immediately saw their artistic talent and knew that I would need to capitalize on their abilities with my lessons and assignments.

At the start of the year we put our iPoet notebooks together with a table of contents. Check out those fancy spiral notebooks I landed at Walmart for 25 cents! I was so excited! I bought enough to have them ready for next year too :) Our poetry notebooks were a combo of student-written poems and example poems from our mini-lessons.

Each Friday afternoon 1st and 2nd quarter, we had a Poetry Workshop. In the past, I pulled poems from various anthologies and would spend time each week searching for the perfect poems to use for our workshop. This year, I gave in to needing a set of poems already laid out for me.

You can find the two resources I purchased in the resource section at the end of this post. Both sets are great because they focus on different types of poems and literary devices. You can choose your topic, but you already have a good set of example poems to work with. {These TIME SAVERS made poetry workshop much more enjoyable for me each week!}

I printed the focus poems on 1/2 sized sheets. Students placed the poems in their poetry notebooks. When we looked at various features {personification, metaphors, onomatopoeia,  alliteration, etc), students highlighted the features in the poems.

Learn the benefits of poetry workshop in your upper elementary classroom & how you can make it work. Great to integrate reading and writing into each day. This teacher gives examples to use, resources to try, great examples, and more! Click through to see if you can make this work with your 3rd, 4th, 5th, or 6th grade classroom or homeschool students. Make your poem unit last the entire year. {third, fourth, fifth, or sixth grader}
Each week, we focused on a literary device, poem format, or technique. I projected example poems on the smartboard and students volunteered to read the poems aloud.

Throughout the year, I also taught lessons on how to brainstorm poem ideas and on how to use line-breaks to create rhythm and emphasis in a poem. When our iPoet pads started to fill up with example poems, we would start our poetry workshop with students choosing a poem from a past lesson to read aloud. Multiple students could read the same poem aloud and sometimes I would pick a poem and ask someone to read it. Can you say oral reading fluency three times fast?!?!? I had a number of students in speech this year and this was perfect practice for them. It was also a fun way to get us into a poetic mood! 

Learn the benefits of poetry workshop in your upper elementary classroom & how you can make it work. Great to integrate reading and writing into each day. This teacher gives examples to use, resources to try, great examples, and more! Click through to see if you can make this work with your 3rd, 4th, 5th, or 6th grade classroom or homeschool students. Make your poem unit last the entire year. {third, fourth, fifth, or sixth grader}
Learn the benefits of poetry workshop in your upper elementary classroom & how you can make it work. Great to integrate reading and writing into each day. This teacher gives examples to use, resources to try, great examples, and more! Click through to see if you can make this work with your 3rd, 4th, 5th, or 6th grade classroom or homeschool students. Make your poem unit last the entire year. {third, fourth, fifth, or sixth grader}

After moving on to our minilesson and focusing on a feature or device, students brainstormed poem ideas in their writer's notebook {not the poetry notebook!}. I had to approve poems before students were allowed to copy them into their notebooks and illustrate them. Neatness and correct spelling was definitely a priority. I encouraged students to try out the techniques and literary devices we discussed but I did not require it as I wanted them to have time to create poems as they wanted.

Learn the benefits of poetry workshop in your upper elementary classroom & how you can make it work. Great to integrate reading and writing into each day. This teacher gives examples to use, resources to try, great examples, and more! Click through to see if you can make this work with your 3rd, 4th, 5th, or 6th grade classroom or homeschool students. Make your poem unit last the entire year. {third, fourth, fifth, or sixth grader}
To end our workshop, we always met at the carpet with our notebooks and had a sharing session. Often, I would start with a request for poems from anyone who had attempted to use the device/technique from our minilesson. Our share sessions were a great way to end the week!

1) My students' enthusiasm! My students LOVED poetry Fridays. I was able to maintain this block of time consistently each Friday 1st and 2nd quarter and hope to carry it through the whole year next year.

2) This year I got something out of poetry workshop that I had not before...and I was sold! Revision, revision, revision, in an INSTANT! As students asked for their poems to be approved for recording in their iPoet Pads, I was able to give them specific feedback, teach/review grammar skills, and focus on spelling strategies.

Students were extremely willing to revise their poems, elaborate, correct spelling issues, and overall, make their work better during this one hour block of writing time. I was really impressed by students who would take one simple suggestion and run with it, bringing back to me a poem that had doubled in size or completely changed perspective.

Poetry workshop gave us the opportunity to make the writing process "bite-sized." In one hour, students were able to move through all stages of the writing process. So worth it!!!

3) Did I mention my students are talented artists? I loved that poetry workshop provided them the weekly opportunity to draw, color, and be creative in the "regular" classroom.




Mentor Poems for Teaching Poetry from Lorrie L Birchall 
20 Poetry Forms from Dot Cates
Awakening the Heart by Georgia Heard


Learn the benefits of poetry workshop in your upper elementary classroom & how you can make it work. Great to integrate reading and writing into each day. This teacher gives examples to use, resources to try, great examples, and more! Click through to see if you can make this work with your 3rd, 4th, 5th, or 6th grade classroom or homeschool students. Make your poem unit last the entire year. {third, fourth, fifth, or sixth grader}

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