Standards and Objective
Poetry is often analyzed and dissected when really it just wants to be read! And read well. Planning for a poetry performance gives students the opportunity to repeatedly reread a poem. This practice-with-a-purpose builds speed and skill naturally and helps increase fluency.
- Favorite Poems for Children
- Bats at the Beach
- The Pied Piper of Hamelin and Other Favourite Poems
- ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas
- The Monster
- I Love You Because You’re You
Have children listen together to a poem from Favorite Poems for Children and discuss the expression and phrasing used by the reader. Discuss how the tone, intonation, timing and rhythm of the reader contributed to their enjoyment and understanding of the poem.
Then have students listen individually to several more poems with the understanding that they each need to choose a poem to share at your Poetry Palooza. Once students have selected poems, provide written copies of their poems or have them listen again and write out the poem.
Then with written verse in hand, have students listen to their poems again, making performance notes about speed, phrasing and intonation on their poem copy. Give students plenty of time to read their poems aloud and practice their performances. If you have recording technology available, encourage students to record their rehearsals and listen critically to their performances.The Poetry Palooza can be held right in the classroom or library with performers reading their poems at the front of the room. Other Tales2Go titles that work well with this activity:
Extensions and Variations
Choose a poem, such as “The Bogus-Boo,” and have students write new additional verses or write their own version of the poem. Or let students choose a poem and write new verses for it or write a new version.
Charge your Poetry Palooza with more excitement by inviting special guests to judge performances. Ask a small panel to give comments and feedback on projection, timing, expression and so on following each performance.
Project Gutenberg has print versions of many poems.
Fluency is the ability to read, speak, or write easily, smoothly, and expressively. The titles on Tales2go provide models of fluent reading for students who are developing this skill as they become more proficient and independent readers themselves. As listeners are exposed to appropriate expression, emphasis, and pronunciation in the stories they hear, students develop a deeper understanding of how language works, which assists them in becoming fluent readers. Listening to Tales2go selections recorded by storytellers, authors, and professional narrators also helps students develop an emotional connection the story, in a way that listening to other “text to speech” versions cannot, which can motivates children to read more on their own.