We have begun an inquiry into poetry. As we continue to build our fluency, we wondered how matching our voice to the mood can help us read and understand poems. 

We noticed how an author uses words to help us experience the mood or feeling of a story or poem. As a fluent reader, we can match our voice to the mood the author makes us feel with their words.

Which mood would match this poem? How might the author want us to read it?

We played a game using dice to practice reading poetry with different tones and moods.

How do poets paint pictures?

A Light in the Attic is a collection of poems by the American poet, writer, and children’s author Shel Silverstein.

Shel Silverstein is a writer and illustrator.

  • He creates poems with words that paint a picture in our minds as we read.
  • He creates drawings to match the playful words of his poems. Sometimes the pictures match what we see in our mid and sometimes the drawings are a surprise.

We used used prompts to help us create a picture in our minds.

TASK: Use the picture prompts to describe the picture in your mind as you read.

Then, we focused on the different strategies poets use to write poems.

  • Poets find a topic that gives them a big feeling.
  • Poets find a small moment, detail, or object that holds the big feeling.
  • Poets look with poets’ eyes and see this ordinary thing in a new way.
  • Poets write about it, experimenting with line breaks.

How do poems make us feel, think and wonder?

To explore this further, we picked a poem and practiced using the I feel, I think and I wonder sentence starters.

How to Make a Swing with NO Rope or Board or Nails By Shel Silverstein

How to Make a Swing with NO Rope or Board or Nails By Shel Silverstein

The Lost Cat By Shel Silverstein

The Lost Cat By Shel Silverstein

What do you see?  

We gathered to talk about the different things we noticed and observed about the tree outside our classroom. How might we ‘see’ this tree? 

Then, we wrote the way we see the tree as ‘scientists‘ and as ‘poets‘. We wondered how the way we see something might inspire our own poetry.

Exploring Poetic Devices

We have been exploring some different poetic devices. These are different techniques or things we can add to our writing to make them sound like poetry.

We have been exploring similes and trying to add some rhyme, and maybe even rhythm to our poems. Some of us have even used repetition, sound and onomatopoeia.

And of course we are always wanting to pay attention to the way we organise our poetry using line breaks and white spaces. This is a way a poet stops and starts a line to make it interesting to the readers.

A few examples of poetry…

 

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