Educators are teaching remotely now that school are closed due to COVID-19. My focus for my students and children is staying healthy under this stress, fear, and anxiety of the current situation. Whereas grade are important, mental health is my primary focus. I do not want to cause more stress, fear or anxiety that children might already be feeling working from home, confined to their home, and away from their friends.
As educator and author Kelly Gallagher stated on his website, “The last thing I want to do with my home-bound students is to load them down with brain-numbing packet work. So this lesson plan was designed to honor student choice, student agency, student voice. This is not the time to give students chapter quizzes on their at-home reading of 1984.”
Similarly, I want to provide my students with opportunities to read, write, and reflect. I have created a poetry playlist for the next few weeks so that my students can read poetry, learn about different poets, and then write in response to the poem. I want to inspire them to write their own poetry.
April in National Poetry month but these poems and poets can she shared any time of the year. I am sharing this three week poetry playlist with teachers to use and adapt for their own classroom.
I ask students to respond to each poem. Students are asked to write one page (or more) in their Battle of the Books Notebook or Writer’s Notebook, capturing thoughts, questions, comments, and connections about the poem. The directions I provided are based on a poetry one-pager posted online by #NCTE:
- Write the title of the poem and author’s full name
- Quote a line from the poem and explain what you believe it means
- Draw 5 images from the poem and caption the imagery that inspired each
- Create a boarder using a key phrase
- Select a main idea of the poem and relate it to your own life
- Define 2 important words from the poem (Definitions should be in your own words)
- Quote a phrase or line – make a personal connection to it
- Explain why a friend might want to read this poem
- Add color to all the images
- On the page adjacent to your response, write a poem or free write inspired by the poem
Do you have a favorite poem or poet to include on the playlist? Share your thoughts in the comments section.