Friday, April 18, 2014

Celebrating National Poetry Month with Guess Again! by Mac Barnett

While every day presents itself as a perfect opportunity to read poetry, National Poetry Month allows us to truly zone in, embrace, and celebrate poetry!  In an earlier blog post, I confessed that I haven't celebrated National Poetry Month, until this school year.  After two cycles of poetry unit during IC Skills, in addition to other library skills curriculum, I LOVE how students and I truly celebrating poetry month!

To introduce National Poetry Month thematic unit in the library, I wanted to select a poetry read aloud that "hooks" and piques students' interests!  I even put extra pressure on myself, when I challenged myself with the idea "I want this book to captivate students' interests and begs them wanting more poetry."  Thankfully, I think I found the perfect book to create excitement and enthusiasm for poetry!

"Guess Again" by Mac Barnett is a great combination of poetry, rhyming, non-rhyming, riddles, and illustrations!

I read aloud this book to all grades K-4, and I am pleased that every student was fully engaged!  It was fun to read it to a wide range of age levels, as I received different reactions from different students and the different age levels.  The giggles and students' reactions are what made this book so much fun to read aloud!

What I love about this book is that each page "forces" the students to blurt out a certain answer, based upon the rhyming words and pictures.  When it comes time to turn to the next page to find the answer, a different answer is actually revealed!  It is not at all what the reader is expecting!

While a follow-up activity of creating poetry riddles would be appropriate for this book, due to the 30 minute time period class and splitting time with "How the Library is Organized" thematic unit, I decided the first poem I would have students create is an acrostic poem.

An acrostic poem  uses the letters in a word to begin each line of the poem. All lines of the poem relate to or describe the main topic word.

Creating an acrostic poem will allow students an excellent opportunity to share their acrostic poems with students in Skype sessions from across the United States, during the week of April 21-25, to celebrate National Poetry Month and National Poem in Your Pocket Day (April 24)!  We spent last week creating acrostic poems on a paper template!  This week students will be entering their "rough drafts" onto a Google Draw (more details about that will be shared in a later blog post) as a final project!

Already, the students and I are having a blast celebrating National Poetry Month, and the month isn't even over yet!

Stay tuned for blog post(s) that share about students using Google Drive and Google Draw to "publish" their final acrostic poems!