Kwame Alexander’s video kicked off our poetry unit of study. After they watched, the kids asked me if I knew how to make fried chicken and mac and cheese as well as Kwame (You will have to watch the video to understand Kwame’s joke.)
Through this video, students developed a beginning understanding of ways to use rhyme, rhythm, and repetition to add music to their poems. But even more important than that, they realized how playful poetry can be.
Next, I read Photo Ark aloud.
On each page, students pointed out craft moves. “Look, Mrs. Mulligan, Kwame (yes – they believe they are on a first name basis with Kwame Alexander.) used precise words.”
After reading the poem below, several children left the rug and thought about how to place their letters to bring out meaning.
Then, they gasped when I read this next poem. As I listened to their turn-and-talk conversations, they spoke about how comparing the animal’s eyes to two sunsets was a “super-cool” idea.
Kids are asking if they can write poems during their free time. Kids are asking if they can read their poems to the class. Kids are stapling poems into books so they can create their own anthologies.
Thanks, Kwame Alexander, for bringing so much joy and voice into our poetry workshop.
Happy Reading and Happy Teaching!