In Second Grade we are just wrapping up our unit on poetry. When we began the unit we asked the children to write a poem, and in many cases their first thought was to find rhyming words so that the poem would end up sounding like a song.
Yet as we’ve progressed through our unit, basing our lessons on a very inspiring book, Poetry: Powerful Thoughts in Tiny Packages , by Lucy Calkins and Stephanie Parsons, the children have come to learn that, first and foremost, being a poet involves looking at the world with a poet’s eyes – – that is, looking at the world in fresh, new ways. We can create poems when we have meaningful ideas to write about. By looking at life closely and carefully, poets find topics to write about that mean a lot to them, topics that give them big feelings. Poets find ways in which to anchor these feelings in small objects or details, making pictures that they paint with words, showing you rather than telling you how they have seen the world. Oh yes, the second graders are learning how to be poets!
The second graders have also used their poet’s ears as they’ve listened to the sounds of poetry. They have thought a lot about using precise language, striving to find the perfect words to make their ideas as clear and powerful as possible. . They’ve played with comparisons and point of view, and practiced looking at pattern and repetition to enhance the meaning of their poems. It is a work in progess, but we’ve seen lots of growth since the beginning of the unit.
Now the second graders are busily publishing their work – – their works of art! Each child will take home their book of poetry on Portfolio Day, and the following week, the second grade classes will put together an anthology to take home as well.
We highly recommend the following websites! These poets have inspired the second graders, who have read their poems with open minds and open hearts. We hope you can continue to foster your child’s budding appreciation of poetry.
http://www.poemfarm.amylv.com/ poems of Amy Ludwig VanDerwater
http://poemsinyourpocket.wordpress.com/tag/zoe-ryder-white/ poems of Zoë Ryder White
http://www.kristinegeorge.com/ poems of Kristine O’Connell George
The Second Grade Team