I chose this book because it has great illustrations and multiple examples of free verse poetry. The poems were short and my kids really loved the different kinds of fish featured. You could use another poetry book that has good pictures, but this one was available and at the 2nd grade reading level.
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 later 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 Reading Acrostics: Poetry of Letters, Don't Worry: Alliteration and Onomatopoeia Help Us and Long Vowels and Limericks: Looking at Poetry. If you have not discussed these poetry features with your students, spend a few moments talking about these important parts of poems.
Give the purpose of the lesson
Introduce strategy - teacher models
Practice strategy - guided practice
Guide students as they work
It's really very difficult to find enough books for a class set, so I often use the iPads as document cameras. The kids take pictures of their favorite page to work on individually. This way, they are all working simultaneously, even though I only have one book.
Put it together and share
The true goal in this lesson is not the creation of a puzzle - it's the realization by the students that meaning is added to poetry from different sources (illustrations, words/phrases, feelings, and the title) - these poetry features. Students need to consider how the illustrations bring meaning to the plot, characters and setting (RL.2.7). They are also reflecting how the words and phrases specific to poetry (rhythm, rhyming, repeating words) bring so much more meaning. (RL2.4) The Common Core Standards emphasize that the students attend to these text features and the intentional wording so they become active participants in their reading and the teacher becomes more of a facilitator to the learning process.
Scaffolding and Special Education: This lesson could be scaffolded up or down, depending on student ability.
I would pair students with academic challenges with other students. The vocabulary and reading level is upper second grade (2.9) and it will be difficult for those with reading problems to digest the poem. However, they should have lots of good ideas to share with the group about the illustrations and perhaps the rhyming or rhythm.
Those with more academic abilities should be able to condense their answers into thought provoking ideas and go beyond - 'it makes me feel good' to statements like 'it reminds me of a time when I went fishing' or 'the shape of the poem shows the direction that the fish migrate.'