Monday, January 6, 2014


Whether you home school, teach pre-K, or any elementary grade, this is a wonderful project for 2014!

According to the National Institute for Literacy, “Poetry is especially well suited to fluency practice because poems for children are often short and they contain rhythm, rhyme, and meaning, making practice easy, fun, and rewarding.” With a Poetry Journal you can also check off many Common Core Standards, such as Craft and Structure (RL.5), Print Concepts (RF.1), Phonological Awareness (RF.2), Word Recognition (RF.4), and Speaking and Listening (SL.5).

Children will need a 3-ring notebook, pocket folder, or composition book that they can decorate for their poetry journals. Each week prepare a copy of a nursery rhyme, finger play, poem, or song that relates to a classroom theme or something children are interested in. Write the rhyme on a large poster or use with a pocket chart or whiteboard. Also prepare individual copies of the rhyme for each child. (Increase the font size and double space between the words to accommodate the children’s visual needs.)

Here are some ways to use the rhyme during the week:

Monday - Introduce the poem as a shared reading experience. Reread the poem several times. Let children use pointers to find letters or words they can recognize. Point out words that rhyme. Is there anything that you notice about these words?

Tuesday - Give children individual copies of the poem. Let them illustrate the poem, hole punch it, and put it in their notebook.
Hint! Do not put illustrations on these rhymes. Let the children use their imaginations and create their own pictures.

Wednesday - Use the poem for skill work during your small group. Find words that rhyme or begin the same. Highlight letters, word wall words, parts of speech, punctuation, etc.

Thursday - Let children read rhymes independently or with a buddy.

Friday - Have a Poetry CafĂ© where children sit in a circle with their journals. Let them take turns reading their favorite poems or practice reading poems together.

Weekend Homework - On Friday, let children take home their poetry notebooks.  Ask children to read or sing the rhyme to someone in their family over the weekend. Encourage parents to sign their name and write their comments and compliments on each poem.

RAH RAH READING (Read At Home - Read At Home)  Parents can “cheer” their child’s reading at home with RAH RAH READING.
                  1st – Read the poem to a stuffed animal.
                  2nd – Read the poem in a mirror.
                  3rd – Practice reading to a pet or sibling.
                  4th – Read to their parents.

Listening Center - Make recordings of children reciting the poems and place in the listening center with copies of the poems.