Post 3: February 10, 2010

I loved how Elliott reminded teachers that poetry does not have to rhyme. I think that is such an important idea. Love That Dog is such a good example about how poetry does not need to rhyme.  When I was reading these two selections I was making connections of how I would incorporate poetry into my Kindergarten classroom. I thought about the writer’s notebook first. I really think the heart map is a wonderful way for young writer’s to get started with their poetry. They can draw it and maybe sound out a few words. Turning it into a list poem makes their writing become a part of their everyday things (Certo, 2004).

            I love Langston Hughes poem the Dreamkeeper:

                                    Bring me all of your dreams

                                    You dreamers,

                                    Bring me all of your heart’s melodies

                                    That I may wrap them

                                    In a blue cloud cloth

                                    Away from the too rough fingers

                                    Of the world.

 We read the poem and talk about how important it is to have dreams and goals. Then students trace their hands and write their own dreams inside their hands. I believe Langston Hughes’ poems are an excellent connection to what Certo refers to as “teaching great poetry.” They are abstract enough to create opportunities for higher order thinking skills, but they are also concrete enough for students to understand what is going on.  Presentation is important so that students are inspired to try their own peoms ( Certo, 2004). Which is why talking about different phrases in the poems and their meaning is important.  Also studying about a poet gives students an understanding about how to appreciate and love poetry (Elliott, 2008). More specifically I like Hughes’ poems because they talk about a time in history that relates to civil rights. Both authors make a point to talk about how poetry can build vocabulary. Mini vocabulary lessons can be built into poetry. Pretty soon students are seeing and hearing new words that help build their vocabulary comprehension.

The benefits of poetry are tremendous! Whether you read Shel Silverstein or Langston Hughes, students start to enter a new realm of literature!

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