** I chose this book because it has great examples of acrostics that allow the kids to read with emphasis and pausing, thereby improve their fluency. The app allows them to really focus on their voice and listen back to what they sound like when they read.
Underlined words below are lesson vocabulary words that are emphasized and written on sentence strips for my Reading & Writing word wall. I pull off the words off the wall for each lesson, helping students understand this key 'reading and writing' vocabulary can be generalized across texts and topics. The focus on acquiring and using these words is part of a shift in the Common Core Standards towards building students’ academic vocabulary. My words are color coded ‘pink’ for literature/’blue’ for reading strategies/’orange’ for informational text/'yellow' for writing/’green’ for all other words)
Common starting point
This is one of the earlier lessons in my poetry unit. I used the 'poetry tree' in all of my lessons in this unit to create a tool that pulled together all of the ideas and kinds of poetry. The kinds of poem are listed down the trunk and the ways that poetry help us are listed on the leaves. I discussed repetition, rhyming and repeated words in my other lessons, including Poetry: What Is It?, Dogs and Haikus: What's the Plot?, Poetry Takes Shape, Synonym Adjective Verb-Put Them In A Cinquain and Pieces of Meaning in Free Verse Poetry, Don't Worry: Alliteration and Onomatopoeia Help Us.
Give the purpose of the lesson
Introduce strategy - teacher models
Take the time to demonstrate fluency with the students. First TALK OUT LOUD about how you practice reading the first time to understand the words and meaning. Then discuss rhythm and rate and how reading with sufficient accuracy and fluency supports comprehension (RF.2.4). Students need to see and hear you model using appropriate rate and expression as you read the poetry orally and how that buoys understanding.
Practice strategy - guided practice
I'm demonstrating here how to create a recording of the poems. I'm using fluency, pausing, intonation and emphasis to clarify ideas, thoughts, and feelings in the poem. (SL.2.5) Really emphasize your voice and comment to the kids about this - 'did you hear how I paused after the word 'hover'? I emphasized the word 'sunlike' to show that was important.' By creating carefully structure situations for students to solve problems and practice independently, I'm demonstrating a shift in the Common Core State Standards. Students need an opportunity to practice their speaking and listening skills in constructed situations with feedback from the teacher.
It's important to really stress this voice with kids - they tend to just want to record right away, but if you stress that you're giving them time to practice to understand the rhythm, then they'll work on using better voice. Using rhythm and voice is not an innate skill, it takes practice. Encouraging them to read a poem several times will give them time to hear the rhyme and rhythm and incorporate it into the recording.
Students Take Turns
As students read the poem, they consider how words and phrases (regular beats, wording, pauses, rhymes, and repeated lines) supply rhythm and meaning in a poem. (RL.2.4) Give the students feedback as they play the recording and replay it so all can hear the examples again. Reading fluently improves the kids' comprehension, which is why one of the the Common Core State Standards is that students attend to the words and phrases that supply the meaning in poetry.
Explain the task
Scaffolding and Special Education: This lesson could be easily scaffolded up or down, depending on student ability.
Students with learning challenges may struggle with reading these poems aloud because the vocabulary level is upper 2nd grade. You may need to help them write the poems or with spelling, so you provide choices for them to choose from.
Challenge higher level students to use more complex vocabulary. If they are doing a poem about cars - then go beyond the 'color' to words like 'chassy' or beyond 'auto' to 'automotive'.