It wasn't mandatory that I do an entire unit with my students about Poetry, but I absolutely love it. I also feel it is so important for students of all ages to experience as many types of literature and writing as possible. I got the idea for the tree when I purchased One Extra Degree's Poetry Unit (check out her blog). I decided that on the leaves (we had a mod looking tree) my students would use their names for Acronyms. This was a good lesson since I did need to teach about adjectives. This tied in perfectly. Some of my students still needed help but it was really good review when they would list nouns instead!
acronyms of their names on leaves
Then as I was reading my students a book of fun poems, Dirt on My Shirt by Jeff Foxworthy (I had never heard of this book before until I was in my awesome coworker's room - I'm telling you, when you are in others rooms glance around, take a quick scan, we can always learn). The poem is titled "Escape" and reads like this:
How happy are balloons
That finally get away?
Escaped from little hands
That tried to make them stay.
Where do they go, I wonder,
With no map to guide them.
To Heaven, I would guess,
Where little angels ride them.
After reading that poem to my students I had one of those "teacher aha moments!" Balloons. Exactly, we'll write some poems on balloons and they will get caught and stuck up in our tree too. Perfect! My kids got so creative with this.
Then we made a rhyming invite for my principal and assistant principal:
Dear Mrs. __________ & Mrs. _____________,
We've been reading and writing.
We've been learning and rhyming -
all about Poetry
Will you come and listen to ME?
Where OUR sidewalk ends you will see!
(I had also read my class some poems from Where the Sidewalk Ends, by Shel Silverstein - and that line was perfect since we are in a trailer.)
My kids clapped when they showed up and got to read to them the other week. It was wonderful!