All About Leaves - Poems and Songs November 09 2009
Fall poetry is unique, with a focus on nature's cycle of producing, and leaves falling as part of that cycle. In compiling this list of poems and songs about the season, I've noticed an emphasis on movement, powerful imagery, and appreciation of beauty. It might be worthwhile to dig a little deeper - spend a little more time - with these poems, and give your students freedom to explore writing Fall poems of their own.
Before they get started writing their own Fall poems, use the provided poems in this post to direct a study of Word Choice. There's an amazing supply of verbs to describe movement of leaves as they fall. With your students, create lists of these verbs, and sort them according to synonym or antonym, using "plain" words like Jumping, Dancing, and Running as starting off points. Then, when students are writing their own poems, they can practice identifying the verbs they use and replacing them with synonyms to beef up their writing.
These Fall poems are intended to inspire appreciation for the beauty of nature. Encourage your students in this appreciation through the 5 Senses Chart; use it while taking a short nature walk or fill it out when reading a couple of the poems provided. Then your students can use this sensory detail in their own poetry.
It may be easier for students to put description to pictures. In my Top 3 Ways to Use Technology for this study of All About Leaves, there are helpful websites that show amazing Autumn scenes. Students can practice describing details of these scenes in their own poetry.
The poems for younger kids often involve playing with language and movement. If you have older students in your classroom, use some of the poems for younger kids and challenge them to write one of their own songs. Then have your older students share and/or teach a classroom (or two...or three) of younger students their own fun poems!
The great thing about poems and songs is the opportunity for movement. If you don't possess much coordination or a love of choreography, have your kids make up motions for the songs and teach each other. The important element is getting people moving around, stimulating those young brain cells!
Songs and Poems for Younger Kids
The Leaves of the Trees (to the tune of "The Wheels on the Bus")
The Leaves are Falling Down (to the tune of "The Farmer in the Dell")
The Dancing Leaves (to the tune "Clementine")
Songs and Poems for Older Kids
The first three are specifically about leaves falling, while the last two are about the elements of Fall that make it special in the cycle of nature.
Full Circle - I wrote this one awhile ago, trying to express my own appreciation for the part Autumn plays in the cycle of the season.
Don't miss the beauty of language and images in poems and songs during this time of year. These exercises can be special for you and your students!