To get the kids pumped up about poetry, we will begin this lesson with a cheery rendition of the traditional song, "Down by the Bay"
Down by the Bay (Raffi Cavoukian)
Down by the Bay
Where the watermelons grow
Back to my home
I dare not grow
For if I do
My mother would say
Did you ever see a llama
wearing his pajamas?
Down by the bay.
As a class, come up with a few more verses to the song changing out the line "Did you ever see a llama, eating his pajamas?" With another animal and rhyming word.
For example you could use:
Did you ever see a beaver
be a basket weaver?
Did you ever see a newt
Carrying lots of loot?
The students will be working with partners on the iPads for this project. They will be using the iPads to access the following poetry site for kids.
This site is a fabulous, kid friendly site that has humorous poem and poems on topics that are of high interest to kids today. The poems can be viewed free of charge. The author, Ken Nesbitt, does have a link on the website to some of the books he has written, which I would highly recommend.
"Poetry is meant to be read aloud. You and your partner will read through the fun poetry titles and choose 6 that look fun to read. Take turns reading the poems. After you have read 6, choose your very favorite one and prepare to entertain the class with it. Practice reading the poem with expression."
"Let me show you what I mean by expression."
(I will then read the poem "My teacher Took My iPod" twice. The first time I read the poem I will do my best to read it in a monotone voice with no expression. The second time I read the poem I will over-exaggerate adding as much expression as humanly possible and even add actions.)
What are the differences between the first time I read the poem and the second time I read the poem?
Which one was more interesting to listen to?
At this point I will divide the students into partners and have them read their 6 poems and practice reading the poem of their choice with expression.
After all partnerships have had a chance to practice reading their poem selection with expression, I will give the students a chance to present their poem o the class. There is a very good chance that some of the partners may have chosen the same poem. That's ok! I tell the kids that each partnership will put a different twist on it when they read. It will be fun to see the different uses of expression.