Saturday, April 14, 2012

The Great Poetry Race

By Shel Silverstein

If you are a dreamer, come in,
If you are a dreamer, a wisher, a liar,
A hope-er, a prayer, a magic bean buyer...
If you're a pretender, come sit by my fire
For we have some flax-golden tales to spin.
Come in!
Come in!

My classroom started a project for Poetry Month called The Great Poetry Race.  I first heard of this project through ProTeacher Community.  This was my go-to for about 5 years B.T. (Before Twitter).  It's essentially a forum with teachers ready to share information and chat about classroom happenings.  Sounds similar to Twitter, doesn't it?  

So anywho, The Great Poetry Race explanation...  Each week during the month of April, my students are given a new poem.  They receive this poem on Monday and turn it with with signatures of who they read it to on Friday.  The student who has read it to the most people, wins The Great Poetry Race for that week.  As their "reward" they get to keep the Poetry Trophy on their desk the following week (stuffed Dr. Seuss character).  They also record their voice reading our poem for the week on a VoiceThread which is posted on our classroom website:  Enjoy and feel free to leave comments :)  This will be added to every week with our new poem.

Why I love this project?  My students get so passionate about poetry during this project time.  Their fluency is being practiced and they realize what fluency really is from reading the poem selection over and over.  They turn into little actors and actresses:)  Also, families love having them call grandma in Arizona, or their older brother away at college to hear them read the poem.  It's a project that connects people in a 'poetic' way.

Now, deciding what poem to have my students read for next week?... Taking suggestions!  
How do you inspire the love of poetry in your classroom?