I chose this book because it has great limericks that are age appropriate for second grade. Most of the classic limericks have very difficult language and the topics are dated, but this book was fun for the kids and really helped them to understand the idea of limericks. They also loved the book's topic of 'school'.
For this unit and specifically in this lesson, I really want to emphasize the importance of the text of the poetry. The puzzle piece worksheet in this lesson helps students zero in on text evidence. Instead of teaching poetry in a free form way, (although it is beautiful and fun), I want students to keep site of the actual text of the poem as well as the rhythm and rhyme of the genre.
The students have learned to love poetry this unit because of the great rhythm and rhyme. In this lesson and others, they are describing how the words and phrases (regular beats, rhymes and repeated lines) supply rhythm to the poem. (RL.2.4) They are interpreting the phrases and words as they are used in the text, including the figurative meanings and learning how to analyze how the author chooses specific words to shape meaning and tone.
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 the last lesson 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, syllables, 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, Pieces of Meaning in Free Verse Poetry and Don't Worry: Alliteration and Onomatopoeia Help Us. I used a 'Poetry Tree' for the whole unit and added ideas as we read different kinds of poems.
If you have not discussed these poetry features with your students, spend a few moments talking about these important parts of poems as you discuss limericks so they have the background knowledge needed.
Give the purpose of the lesson
Explain the task
Find the vowels
Discuss the long vowels
This is the crux of the lesson - discussion of how long vowels and vowel teams can be spelled differently. The Common Core State Standards encourage students to know and apply grade level phonics and word analysis skills in decoding words, including distinguishing long vowels when reading regularly spelled one and two syllable words with long vowels (RF.2.3a, RF.2.3c). This lesson is a classic example of how you can teach grammar inside a literature lesson. Instead of reviewing long and short vowels in isolation (a long vowel worksheet), it was great use this poetry book to find them as we were learning about literature.
Set up the class limerick
Create a limerick
Scaffolding and Special Education: This lesson could be scaffolded down, depending on student ability.
Students who struggle may need to be paired with a partner for long vowel identification. You could also write the words on the board, as I did in the completed whiteboard example.