Teacher Tip Tuesday…on Wednesday!

Well, I had really, really good intentions of creating this post on Tuesday, but it just didn’t happen. You know what they say, “Better late than never!” so Teacher Tip Tuesday will actually happen today, on Wednesday. So here we go…

This summer I had the opportunity to attend the Millersville Writing Institute as part of my professional development.  The writing institute had to be one of the best graduate level classes that I have taken.  If you need to take a class for professional development or if you need to take a graduate class, I would highly recommend the Writing Institute at Millersville.  You can even save the date for the institute next year.  It will be held August 5th-9th, 2013. Today’s teacher tip comes from the Millersville Writing Institute.

Teacher Tip #1

This is a lesson in writing poetry.  I don’t know about you, but poetry is usually the last type of writing and/or reading that enjoy teaching.  It all comes down to the fear of the unknown.  I don’t consider myself a reader or a writer of poetry, therefore I find it difficult to teach.  However, I was able to run with lesson after it was presented at the institute.  The lesson is modeled after the book IF YOU WANT TO FIND GOLDEN by Eileen Spinelli.

In Spinelli’s book she presents a new poem on each page and it revolves around a color.  Here is just a sample of one poem from Spinelli’s book:

If you want to find green,

there’s a traffic light.

It says go!

Go to the greengrocer’s,

smell the green onions,

browse about the racks

of lettuce and spinach,

nibble on a sprig of cilantro,

if you want to find green.

The presenters at the institute put a spin on this and used the poems as introductions.  Hence, they created  poems about themselves.  It was such a clever way to share! Say good-bye to the I Am poem.  Then what I did was I created a poem about myself and modeled it on my blog on the About Me page.

How can you use this in your classroom?

If you can attain a copy of the book, first read the book aloud to the students.  I was fortunate enough to find a copy at our local library. Using the Gradual Release of Responsibility: I do, We do, You do, scaffold the instruction and guide the students through the process of creating a poem about themselves.

The poems can be shared at a morning meeting as a way for the students to get to know each other.  Or, after the students have been together for a week or so, the teacher can collect the poems and share one or two of them at a time at a morning meeting, but the teacher can leave the name of student out and have the other students try to guess which student the poem is about.  It would even be fun to bind the poems together and make a classroom book or display them in the hall for Back-to School Night.

Food for Thought:

How would you modify this lesson to make it meet the needs of your students?

6 thoughts on “Teacher Tip Tuesday…on Wednesday!

  1. What a GREAT idea!!! Loved it!!! Charlet

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  2. I agree! The writing institute is a wonderful experience. This lesson sounds great! I might have to try it out. Eileen Spinelli also wrote one of my favorite books, When Mama Comes Home Tonight.

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