Spring Into Poetry March 08 2010

[caption id="attachment_5140" align="alignright" width="160" caption="Photo By Anja.2010"][/caption]

Seasonal poems are fun for me to use in my classroom. They celebrate the changing of the seasons, which applies to all of us. Poetry plays with language, which helps make reading less intimidating. And poetry helps strengthen that reading-writing connection while building appreciation for the form and style of different kinds of poetry.

In the last week, daffodils have started blooming in my neighborhood - Spring is upon us. Here are some ways to use poetry in your classroom to celebrate the coming of Spring!

Write a Poetry Book

Print out this Poetry Book Template for students to use in your classroom. The first template is only one page, so print out two copies and double-side the photocopies for your students. Group the number of pages you want in each student booklet and staple. The template page can also be used for the cover if you have kids illustrate the top and put the title and their names on the lines provided.

Speaking of illustrations, once students copy poems and write their own original poetry in their books, they can illustrate these poems with original artwork in the space provided on each page.

Another option is Carol's Free Spring Poetry Printable Book in color or black & white. This poetry book template comes with a cover and lined pages to group together as needed.

Regardless of which template you use, have students write the month and year along with the grade in which they created this Poetry Book on the back. Now you have an instant gift for Mother's Day!

Spring Vocabulary and Sentences

With your students, brainstorm a classroom list of Spring words and write them down on a piece of chart paper. Add them to your spelling list for the coming weeks and as well as to your word wall. Display these Spring vocabulary words for your students to use during poetry-writing activities.

I like to use Spring words and review parts of speech with my kids. Make a Parts of Speech Process Grid on a piece of chart paper and give each student a copy of one to write on. Using the list of Spring words brainstormed by your class, sort the words into the adjective, noun or verb categories. Then on their grids, students can combine these different parts of speech to create Spring Sentences.

Write Your Own

There are a few poems set to familiar songs in the collection below. One of them is sung to the familiar "I'm a Little Teapot," so why not write one of your own to this tune? After reviewing the ones below with your class, write one with your whole group. Use a pocket chart and sentence strips in order to change words around until it's just right.

As an independent exercise, have students write their own poems for their Poetry Books set to the same tune. As an extension of this activity, have students choose another common song, like "The Itsy Bitsy Spider," and create a Spring poem especially for that tune.

Get Moving!

Many Spring poems talk about plants growing, rain falling, and sun shining, which are all actions. Choose a poem and have your students make up physical movements to go with each line. They can do this in small groups, then they can teach the movements to the rest of the class.

The Poems

Here's a collection of poems to get your students started "spring"ing into poetry:

1. I'm a Little Seed
Sung to the Tune "I'm a Little Teapot"
I plant a little seed in the cold, cold ground.
Out comes the yellow sun, big and round.
Down come the raindrops soft and slow
Up comes the flower grow, grow, grow!

2. Planting Flowers
Sung to the tune of "Frere Jacques"
Planting flowers, Planting flowers,
In the ground, In the ground,
Water them and they grow,
Water them and they grow,
All around, All around.

3. Spring
Sung to the tune of "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star"
Spring, spring is coming soon,
Grass is green and flowers bloom,
Birds returning from the south,
Bees are buzzing all about,
Leaves are budding everywhere,
Spring, spring is finally here!

The following poems celebrate spring but are not set to familiar tunes:

4. What the Robin Told
The wind
told the grasses,
And the grasses
told the trees.
The trees
told the bushes,
And the bushes
told the bees.
The bees
told the robin,
And the robin
sang out clear:
Wake up!
Wake up!
Spring is here!

5. My Spring Garden
Here is my little garden,
Some seeds I'm
Going to sow.

Here is my rake
To rake the ground,
Here is my handy hoe.

Here is the big
Round yellow sun,
The sun warms everything.

Here are the rain clouds
In the sky,
The birds will start to sing.

Little plants will
Wake up soon,
And lift their sleepy heads.

Little plants will
Grow and grow
From their warm earth beds.

6. Springtime
A small green frog
On a big brown log;
A black and yellow bee
In a little green tree;
A red and yellow snake
By a blue-green lake,
All sat and listened
To red bird sing,
"Wake up, everybody,
It's spring! It's spring!"

This last one has no title:

7. The grass is green.
Flower blossoms I have seen.
The days are warm.
By evening it cools.
It's time to find the garden tools