Wednesday, July 17, 2019


If I were in charge of the world, this is something that I would put in each child's hands. It's so simple and inexpensive, but it could give a lasting memory to a child.  This idea could be adapted for any age group or skill level.

On a personal note!  I have a friend with Alzheimer's who has a difficult time carrying on a conversation.  Another friend took her out to lunch, and I asked, "What did you talk about?"  She replied, "Oh, we don't talk.  I put on the 50's radio station and we sing!"  And that's why we must sing with children and teach them poems.  Those songs and rhymes will stay tucked in their brain, and they might give them a smile and a few minutes of happy memories one day!

What?  pocket folders with 3 prongs, copies of poems and songs, markers, art media

Why?  love of reading, oral language, phonological awareness, social skills, reading skills

When?  large group, small group, independent, home/school

How?  Purchase a pocket folder for each child.  This will be a good project for them to decorate the first week of school.  Think of 4 or 5 simple songs, nursery rhymes, or poems that you would like to introduce the first month of school.  (I would not put illustrations on these because the children will be able to make a personal connection with their own drawings.)  Run off copies of these and insert them in the pocket folder.  Each week introduce one of the songs using the strategies below.  As the year progresses add new songs or rhymes that would engage the children or relate to a theme or season.

Hint!  Some good songs might include: “Twinkle Little Star,” “BINGO,” “Baa Baa Black Sheep,” “The Itsy Bitsy Spider,” “The Farmer in the Dell,” “London Bridge,” “Yankee Doodle,” “Jack and Jill,” “Mary Had a Little Lamb,” “Row, Row, Row Your Boat,” “The Alphabet Song,” or “Rain, Rain, Go Away.”

Monday - Introduce the poem as a shared reading experience. Reread the poem several times using one of these strategies:

     Shadow Reading– Teacher reads a line and then students repeat.

     Magic Word– Choose a “magic word” (high frequency word) in the text. Every time you   come to that word, the children get to clap, jump, snap, etc.

     Say What?Read the wrong way and have children correct you by shouting out, “Say what?”

     Missing Word – Omit a word and have the children fill it in.

     Read with me IF you…like chocolate ice cream
     like broccoli have a dog
     can ride a bike are wearing red

     Stand and Read – Children stand and take a small step to the right for each word. At end of the line jump “down” to the next line. Everyone moves back to the left and quickly moves to the right with every word until the end of the next line. Repeat until the end of the poem.

     Take a Turn- Divide children into groups and each section reads a different line. For example: Let boys and girls alternate reading lines.
Let children use pointers to find letters or words they can recognize, point out words that rhyme, punctuation, etc.  Have children illustrate the poem or song as an independent activity.

Wednesday - Use the poem for skill work during small group. Highlight parts of speech, sight words, etc.

Thursday - Children bring notebooks to large group and reread this week’s rhyme and review previous poems.

Friday - Children read poems independently or with a buddy.

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

Carolyn has created the COOLEST alphabet poems that are just right for your poetry songbook.  What a great way to start your year!