Poetry Part 1 - Queen of the First Grade Jungle

Poetry Part 1

My love teaching writing to end of the year first graders!  The light bulb has gone on- we spend most of our effort on content, as opposed to spaces and letter-sound correspondence. 

I am a writing workshop teacher---whole-heartedly. I don't know that I could teach writing any other way.  We use Lucy Caulkins as our foundation as well.  When it comes to poetry, I teach my students tools that they can use, but I do not teach form poems.  I did make an exception for for Reagan's Rainbows so we could focus on adjectives and brighten up our hallways at the same time!

The skills that we focus on in poetry include

1. Five Senses
2. Alliteration
3. Onomatopoeia
4. Similes and Metaphors
5. Personification
6.  Repetition 

We use tons of mentor poems.  My students also help me write poems about a suggested topic.  We play music, turn the lights down low and WRITE.  I love conferencing with my students and making suggestions on which tools they should use.

Here are a few of  my favorites from my class:

I was blown away with what they were able to come up with overall.  Tomorrow night I will be back with TONS of pictures and a write-up on our Class Poetry Night. 

This year I was doing some of my blog-stalking, and I came across a fantastic idea to write poetry and nonfiction about the same topic.  We had just hung our published All-About books in the hallway so this was the perfect topic for us.

I got this idea from The Wonder Teacher  (if you haven't happened upon her blog, you are truly missing out friends, because she is the kind of blogger that makes me want to be a better teacher!).  She also suggested having the students water color along with their poems.  Brilliant!

We did our watercolors first and used these gorgeous paintings to draw inspiration for our poems.
Not every child in my class started the year enjoying art, but I know my love has rubbed off on some of them.  They pride themselves on being creative and artistic.  I love being about to teach the WHOLE child :) 

My hallway is BURSTING with our art, writing, and creativity in general.

I can't wait to share pictures of our super cool coffeehouse tomorrow!

your photo name


  1. WOW..you have inspired me to work on my writing units this summer!! Thanks for sharing your pride and joys with us :)

  2. WOW! Those poems are amazing! You should be so proud of that great work!! :)

    Kimberly Ann
    Live, Laugh, I love Kindergarten

  3. Wow!! Do you have some poets or what?! Love the white fluffy dog poem!! Thanks so much for sharing. I'm so impressed!

    Across the Hall in 2nd Grade

  4. I love adding poetry to my writing workshop, especially at the end of the year. Thanks for the inspiration! I did a whole post on my writing workshop...feel free to stop by and check it out :)

    Teaching in the Tongass

  5. Such wonderful poems and I love the art work. Students needs the opportunity to explore themselves creatively. I think this tends to get lost in all the standards and testing. I just wrote a post about the importance of creativity. <3 it!


  6. What wonderful poems and fantastic art. I think you made a great point about how when you love something, it really has a positive influence on the students :)

    Literacy Without Worksheets

  7. Wow!! These are GREAT! Thanks for sharing. We will start poetry in a few weeks.

    Sweet n Sassy in 2nd

  8. OMG these are GREAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Thank you for sharing. =)

    (( HUGS ))
    One Fab Teacher

  9. I have a question. did you use a specific unit for the poetry? I wasn't sure if the Derby units were what you used. Please email me at nsaenz@austinisd.org if you can possibly reply.


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