Chirp Chirp! What’s that sweet sound? Why it’s a baby bird in a nest outside your classroom! Ahhh, early spring has arrived!
Now, do you keep going with your lesson, or do you take the kids outside to see the wonder of a new little robin in the nest on this fine spring day? I say take the kids outside and look for even more signs of spring! Ahh, there’s budding cherry blossoms, fragrant flowers, and fresh new blades of grass when we are lucky enough to get a warm March.
I just LOVE springtime! The sun is BACK, the air feels toasty warm on a spring morning, and everything around just seems to be in refresh mode!
Since April is National Poetry Month, it’s a great time to introduce your kindergarten and first grade students to the beauty of poetry, right along with the beauty of spring! Spring is a perfect time to take all their renewed energy and focus it on learning from poems with a spring theme. Just like farmers plant a springtime garden of crops and pretty flowers in the spring, as teachers, we get to plant those little seeds of knowledge in the spring time too! So start a spring garden of reading fluency in your class this year, with poetry used as shared reading during your ELA reading time.
Why is Poetry Important?
Let’s remember why it’s great for our kindergarten students to learn about poetry (in addition to being part of the standards):
- To foster a love of literature and language: Poetry is a powerful way to inspire children with the beauty of language and foster their natural creativity.
- To encourage critical thinking skills: Poetry encourages children to think beyond the literal meanings of words and draw connections between idea, while also teaching them to actively analyze written texts.
- To develop their understanding of rhyme and rhythm: Exploring poetry helps children to understand the meaning behind words, as well as the importance of rhyming in language and how it can be used to create rhythm.
- To help them learn new vocabulary: By exploring the imagery and figurative language used in poetry
Many parts of poetry lessons are higher level thinking skills and the resurgence of energy on our part makes spring a lovely time of year to tackle them!
I know it must seem daunting at first, but I’ve done all the legwork for you! I’ve done the planning, the research and the lessons and even written the poems that kids just love love love!
Each of the poetry units is research-based and standards based too. All the work is done for you, so you can spend less time planning and more time enjoying the beauty of spring with your students!
Poetry for Shared Reading
If you haven’t used poetry as Shared Reading yet, you’ll absolutely love it! Poetry is great during whole group lessons and also center activities.
I love starting the poetry unit as a Whole Group lesson, then once the kids have their feet wet, I add the poems to a literacy center. Each component of these poem-of-the-week bundles is designed to be engaging and fun for your kindergarten or first-grade students. Kids love their poems because they’re set to a familiar tune that your students can sing along with.
Poetry Shared Reading Lesson Plans
These poetry lesson plan units will make your spring ELA teaching time easy!
- I’ve done all of the planning for you with the 5-day Poetry as Shared Reading fluency plan, you can relax and teach with ease!
- Because my poems are set to familiar tunes, your students will learn them quickly and they LOVE to sing them!
- Poetry for shared reading provides easy-to-run activities that are great for community building.
- These poems are given in a variety of formats so you can select the version that works best for you. You can make a pocket chart activity, display the poem under your document camera, or in Google Classroom or Seesaw.
- The Cuteness Overload Factor: Once they learn the songs & poems, you’ll find them singing the poems to themselves at odd times of the day, even when it’s not poetry time!
Again, one of the elements that make the Poetry Units so effective at improving your student’s reading level, (and language skills in general), is that the poems are set to music. When kids read, sing, and move to the music, they are utilizing so many key areas of the brain that affect learning. When you combine resources that address the standards, with the magic of music, learning goes off the charts!
Let’s take a look at exactly what singing does for your little learners:
- Singing helps to develop early language skills, which are an important part of being a successful reader.
- Singing can help children learn how to recognize and remember sight words more easily, making it easier for them to comprehend what they are reading.
- Singing can help children practice their phonemic awareness, which is important for reading fluency. Think of poems as easy fluency practice!
- Singing helps children become more familiar with the sound and rhythm of language, which can help them learn how to read faster.
- Singing can help children practice their rhyming skills, which is an important part of learning how to decode unfamiliar words.
- Singing provides a fun and engaging way for children to practice their language skills, which can help build a positive attitude towards reading.
- Singing helps to develop auditory memory and comprehension, both of which are important components of successful reading.
- Singing helps to strengthen the connection between visual and auditory information, helping children understand what they are reading more quickly.
What's in a Poem of the Week Bundle
Each monthly set of poems include:
- A set of lesson plans for 5 days, designed for a POEM of the WEEK format
- A set of 4 original (+ appealing!) short spring poems set in a kid-friendly poetry notebooks
- A set of poems for the teacher to use as a pocket chart activity, a slide show on the doc cam, on Seesaw, or Google Classroom
- A set of community-building phonics and word-work activities
- Two activities that can be used as centers or with pocket charts
- A set of I CAN statements for students to use as they work independently at the poetry center
Rhyming, rhythm, and song are all a part of these kid-friendly poems for the spring season! Here are the spring short poems that are included in each set.
- 1st Edition for March: St. Patrick’s Day – Luck of the Irish, Oviparous, Splish-Splash, and Your Body
- 1st Edition for April: Earth Day, Re-cycle, The Plant Song, Spring Celebration, Stung!
- 1st Edition for May: In the Ocean, Picnic Guests, Field Trip, Summer Vacation
Remember, poetry is often viewed as being a difficult form of literature, but it truly can be adapted for all ages. (Remember all those beloved nursery rhymes? They’re beautiful poems written for little ones to start learning about words!) When we teach poetry to young children, (classic poems work well too), we need to make the material engaging and include lots of fun, and let them explore their creativity while learning about language.
With these bundles, I’ve written and adapted the poetry, made the lessons fun and entertaining, (+ easy for you!) – so although it may seem a bit scary to consider, I wholeheartedly encourage you to give poetry as shared reading a try with your little learners! Remember, these bundles are perfect for whole group lessons, AND they work well as center activities too!