Poetry's Idyllic and Intriguing Patterns for Kindergarten

byStephanie Johnson


"The little girl had the making of a poet in her who said, being told to be sure of her meaning before she spoke: How can I know what I think till I see what I say?" So said Graham Wallas (1858-1932).

He meant that thought doesn't really exist until it is in words. What you want to say may be well and good but can you understand it? I remember when I was a little girl I had to learn how to read using the books called "Dick and Jane". These books said the same sentence over, adding a new sentence from time to time. This is one of the ways I learned to read. I also learned to read from my older sibling teaching me how to read. I would read the same story over and over again. When I was getting help in learning to read, I simply thought I was getting a story read to me, and of course I enjoyed one fact— that this was not the school's book. So reading to me was a constant repetition. This is still the best way to teach students to read today. Reciting the nursery rhymes, the poems that were presented to me as a child to memorize, helped me learn to read. So I have a personal interest in teaching reading connected to poetry. The nursery rhyme, as I remember, was what taught me to read the days of the month and the alphabet, for example. This is how my students will learn to read in this unit. They will repeat sound patterns until they grow familiar and can start to produce thought— the thoughts of others as we read them and our own thoughts as we write them.

This unit was developed under William Lampson Professor Paul H. Fry. In his seminar, "Reading Poetry: Pictures, People, Places and Things," I learned about ecphrastic poetry. The word ecphrastic is Greek and means telling all. It is poetry related to visual art or it's a work of art based on another work of art. This type of poetry requires that the poet place himself within the art piece. This can be done through a variety of poetic approaches such as: speculating, portraying, explaining and perceiving. There are two things involved when doing ecphrastic poetry. One is the art work and the other is the response to the art work. It is the creation of this dialogue that makes this type of poetry intriguing. The dialogue creates the ecphrastic poem. Sometimes the poem will try to match the image to the text. It gives it the quality of a voice. In my meetings and personal discussions with Professor Fry, we talked about the relevancy of this seminar to my unit and the patterns that are seen in this type of poetry and others. I found our conversations informing and directional. The direction I will take is actually the opposite. I will be reading poetry and my students will be drawing pictures about that poetry. This is basically due to the developmental stage of my students. Now let's discuss in more detail how I plan to introduce all of this into my classroom.


Poetry is a form of literature spoken or written, that emphasizes rhythm, other intricate patterns of sound and many possible ways to suggest a meaning. The way a line of poetry is structured can be considered a kind of garment that shapes and clothes the thought within it. Poetry has evolved along with its rules. It is a genre that is often changing. One characteristic that makes poetry different from ordinary language is that it uses many kinds of repetitions. This characteristic is enhanced by poetic meter, which is a repetition of sound or beat. The line of a poem is a unit, a structure of phonics and meter. This will be looked at in its simplest form: syllables. Also, in Nursery Rhymes there is much repetition of sound. They may use assonance, the echoing of vowels, and consonance, the echoing of consonants. These and other repetitions will be explored in my unit, which is written for a kindergarten classroom.

I have said that young children learn reading through patterns of sound. This unit will teach patterns of speech through poetry. The recognition of sounds (phonemes) will be achieved by using alliterations. The alliterations will be introduced by using the English alphabet. The letters are introduced randomly in sets of three and four. This will be for the student's enjoyment and review of the letters. A poem will be read each week, after the set of alliterations has been learned. The students will be able to dissect the poem with the guidance of questions. Poetry fixes the attention through rhyme, rhythm, meter, repetition, alliteration, assonance and consonance. Not all poems have all of these traits. Rhyme is frequently presented as one of the traits used most in poetry. The words at the end of the lines rhyme. Some words can rhyme in the middle of the line as well. Alliterations, assonance and consonance are rhymes as well. These are the basic contributing factors to this unit. Rhythm is another trait in poems. The syllables that are stressed or unstressed can be important, as in the Limerick lesson. I use the La lum method of explaining rhythm. The unit of the syllable is discussed as well. For instance, Lum is one syllable and La lum is two syllables and la lum la is three syllables.

Specific skills will be targeted. This will also help with promoting the joy of listening to the spoken word. New vocabulary will be introduced for a Poetry Word Wall to be established.

Listening to these different forms will expose the students to other rhythmic patterns. A discussion will be developed based on the poem and will be carefully monitored through specific questions that will target comprehension and reading for fluency.

A portfolio will be built from the poetry readings. There will be eight forms of poetry explored. Inspired by the poems that will be read, the students will draw eight illustrations with writing accompanying them. This will at the end become part of their writing portfolios.

The portfolio will be assessed using a rubric. The illustrations will be part of an art infusion project with the emphasis on the detail of the illustration. Some of the techniques that will be used will be analyzing the poem as it relates to the drawing. I will be looking for neatness and the relevance of the drawing to the poem. A field trip to the Carnegie Museum of Art has been included through my participation in Gateway to the Arts. This will be to learn about the visual art object and how it can tell a story. This relationship is considered to be aesthetic education using inquiry, context and reflection. The inquiry will be guided by a resident artist. The story that will be told is based on the exhibit the Chariot of the Aurora. It is an art deco masterpiece that was made for the Grand Salon of the French luxury ocean liner the Normandie in 1935. It has a Greek mythology theme, a story about the mother of the four winds. Her four sons appear above her as the wind and seasons. Another part of the mural represents the stars and has a huge navigation compass in the center. All of the goddess Aurora's sons have names and have something to do in the artwork. In the rationale section you can go to a site on this topic. With the help of an Artist in Residence in my classroom I will be trying to get my students to see the connection of the art objects to the story. I would hope to see this more as the portfolios develop.

The different types of poems in this unit are called patterns. These patterns will be explored by the students in their portfolio writings. I will give them exposure through the field trip in hopes of enhancing their work.

The students live in an inner city urban setting. In this unit I am going to use poetry to reinforce the current reading curriculum, which has been developed with this environment in mind. The unit can be adapted to other grade levels and for learners with special needs.


Phonetics is the study concerned with the physical properties of sounds and it has three subfields, articulation, acoustics and audition. Poetry can be used to work with all three of these subfields and my unit will be doing this. In this unit the student will be listening, speaking and putting voice to their poetry.

The pattern of poetry is very distinct. Patterns help make the poem what it is. Rhythm will be explored without really stating or going into lengthy detail about it at this grade level. Some words in relation to pattern poems will be discussed. The discussion will be related to meters (iambic, dactylic, etc.). For the early childhood student these patterns help teach pre-reading and reading skills. When I look at the reading curriculum in our school in correlation with poetry, most of the skills can be transferred one to another. The behavior scientists believe that behavior flexibility has a great deal to do with this transferring.

This transferring evolving is considered "associationism." Deliberate association devices through targeted skills will be used in this unit. In behaviorist terms, the poem is the stimulus and the illustration with portfolio writing and reading is the response. This is the associationist's framework for experiencing poetry. I will also be using this in relation to the portfolio writing in response to the illustration. Can the student transfer what is thought of or understood to the illustration? The contextual material around the poem will be seen in the illustration, as in The Chariot of Aurora

http://www.carnegiemuseums.org/cmag/bk_issue/1998/novdec/feat5b.htm (The Chariot of Aurora: A Myth for Modern Times.) (This is just a portion of it—four of the thirty-two panels and some supporting information.)

The skills of fluency, comprehension, vocabulary, phonics and writing will be taught through poetry. I will look at the versification of words and the phonetic characteristics of language, such as number of syllables in a word and line. The length and tone of a word is important. The alliterations of poems will be used to assist in the readiness to read and will be reinforcing the skills needed to acquire a language base. A language base is what our assignment of reading in itself is trying to achieve.


I speak of fluency, phonics, comprehension, and vocabulary and writing, but as they are taught they will overlap. Language Arts necessarily promotes this as though they were separate things, although they overlap in practice. Thus my objectives for this unit will overlap, but I will discuss them in the context of each skill in turn. I will also include the Pennsylvania Standards, and cover indirect skills that the students will acquire.

Let's start with fluency. The student must be given the opportunity to practice the skills that reinforce this. The student will be given the opportunity to build dialogue through discussing the poems. This dialogue can be with their peers or with the teacher. When they are reading the poem from the chart paper they will have the opportunity to practice tracking print. They can recognize environmental print or print from the sentences in the alliterations of the poem. What will also assist with this is how they express what they read. This expression can be through tone and tempo. The poems read aloud in choral and echo form as well will help the student. Oral fluency is so important at this grade level, because it is a major contributing factor in reading.

The next skill that I will be trying to improve is vocabulary recognition. Some of this will be taken from writing (inventive spelling) and some of it will be taken from the poems. Most of the vocabulary will be taken from the alliterative sentences. Some new words have been dispersed throughout that lesson. The students will be able to use them in classroom conversation. The students can also use the new words in a sentence and in other situations related to writing.

The Phonics will be taught through sounding and blending the poems on the chart paper. The alliterations will help with remediation of the letters of the alphabet. The building of words with the phonograms will continue to help the students sound out the words. This exercise teaches decoding by analogy. They will be able to do "oddity tasks" in relation to word formation. This means discriminating which words rhyme and which words have the same sounds or different sounds. This will be through some of the questions that will be asked. Oral blending will be especially important because the student can write while they blend their sentences in speech. You should be able to see some evidence of inventive spelling.

The writing objectives are simply to be able to go through the basic writing process. They will go through the writing stages and publish their papers. They will be able to do drawings and relate them to a poem. A reflection related to their writing will be used in the form of a conference. The students will be expected to go through the process of writing. First, there will be the pre-writing, planning, brainstorming and gathering information. This will take place through the discussion of the poem. Then the student should draft the illustration and the writing that is required. The teacher helps with this. Now the students can revise or edit their work. This is like re-writing or rearranging. Then proof read. Make sure it's what should be there. The publishing should be done at this time.

The Kindergarten Writing Portfolio Requirements are: one section for reading and the other section for writing. I will do conferencing with the student after each section is published.

The reading exhibit demonstrates a student's ability to comprehend and respond to text. This is in the form of a Book Log. All of the books used for this unit will be added to this log. The writing exhibit is a response to a literature sample and a personal narrative. The writing exhibit demonstrates a student's ability to write in many modes. They usually do a narrative and a response. They must also choose two more pieces of work. They can be descriptive, how-to, story, informational writing or a poem. The writing can be done as a whole class interactive or in grouping or individually. I plan to meet all of these objectives in this unit.

The content standards for the Pittsburgh Public Schools apply to:

Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening:

  1. All students read and use a variety of methods to make sense of various kinds of complexity.
  2. All students respond orally and in writing to information and ideas gained by reading narrative and informational texts and use the information and ideas to make decisions and solve problems
  3. All students write for a variety of purposes, including narrating, informing and persuading, in all subject areas.
  4. All students compose and make oral presentations for each academic area of study that are designed to persuade, inform or describe.

Arts and Humanities:

  1. All students describe the meaning they find in various works from the visual and performing arts and literature on the basis of aesthetic understanding of the art.
  2. All students produce, perform or exhibit their work in the visual arts, music, dance or theater and describe the meanings their work has for them.


1. All students apply the concepts of patterns, functions and relations to solve theoretical and practical problems.


  1. All students demonstrate that they can work effectively with others.
  2. All students demonstrate their skills of communicating, negotiating and cooperating with others.


First I would like to look at the skill of phonics. This is normally promoted through phoneme awareness—sounding and blending of words. Here this skill is advanced through the pronunciation of the sounds of the letters in the alliteration part of the unit. I will give the student the opportunity to recite both with me and alone. Build alliterations into the morning message periodically as another form of exposure to print.

Make the alliterations into sentence strips to take home so the student can revisit them. Also the phonograms will help with the sounding and blending due to the building of words with the same ending sound. They can decode by analogy using the ending and adding the beginning letter. Also, blending of the poems will help. The students are going to do the acrostic poems for homework. The acrostics will be in the form of a phonogram.

The next skill to be enhanced is comprehension, which will be targeted through carefully crafted questions concerning the poem. This technique is called Text Talk. This was developed by the Beck Group at the University of Pittsburgh. These techniques are normally used for reading prose but I will be using them for poems. This approach can be made to work by re-voicing what a student has said into an answer. This will help give clarity to the answer. Another technique would be recapping information combining the student's comments but adding them up into a series of ideas. Marking is another way to restate a comment or idea. The ideas or comments should come completely from the text (poem). The main focus is to ask questions that make the students think, organize thoughts, and produce language. Questions should be open ended. Other strategies would be to use recall, inference and making a connection to the text (poem on chart paper). This is a scaled down version of an elaborately described process. But it should work. Understanding was one of the topics I talked about in my introduction. This is knowing what you say and saying what you know. Speaking of saying, let's look at the next strategy.

Fluency is one of the skills also reinforced. How do I get my students to read? By using the poems that will be written on chart paper. As a whole classroom, do an echo reading exercise with every poem. This will help with tone and reading smoothly. Choral reading as well should be done. This will help with timing and group work. This is when everyone reads at the same time as an "ensemble." Another way to help the students become fluent readers is modeling correct reading. In this case make sure the text that is being used is manageable for the student. The teacher should re-read the material again and again, so the students can get used to hearing the words. If the student does not know the word, they can listen to how it is pronounced.

Also important is the tracking of print from left to right. Encourage the student to discuss how the poem sounded when they read it. If you can, get each student to read individually for oral speaking. Oral practice is a critical component of fluency. Do some refraining: one student reads most of the poem and the rest of the class chimes in at a certain time, as with the Limerick poem. Also, do some antiphonal readings: divide the class in half and alternate the readings. This can be exciting because it could be done by gender, color of clothes or type of shoe. Possibly have a reader's theatre and let the students recite their favorite nursery rhymes. Writing the poem on chart paper will enhance a variety of skills. When it is written out it is speech put to paper. The letter formation will show the proper visual view. You can associate sound with letters. The student can track print using left to right progression. This will give the student the opportunity to differentiate between word, letter, spacing and sentence structure. The student will also get the opportunity to read common sight words. They can readily read the punctuation as well. So using poems on chart paper will just be a wonderful way to catch those teachable moments. You can use shared reading, when the entire class reads with the teacher's support, reinforced by choral reading and echo reading. This is basically what I will be doing. Also, what can be used during flexible grouping is guided reading of the poems. This is when the student reads on their own reading level, using manageable text.

Now when looking at vocabulary, you should discuss the new words that the students will learn from the alliterations. These words (vocabulary) will be scattered as I said throughout this part of the unit. A vocabulary oriented Poetry Word Wall will be used, drawing on the words that are in the unit. Also, the phonogram in the acrostic poems is a way of building on vocabulary. This is an excellent way to build word families. Have them write their word wall words or put them into the morning message. Also, look at the context the word is being used in. I know I get a better understanding of a word when I look at what is around it.

The next strategy is writing. All of the steps in the writing process should be used. A time for conferencing with the student should be set aside. One can also go around and comment on their work. The writing objective is to be able to work through the basic skills. For kindergarten students, skills will be as simple as making a capital letter at the beginning of a sentence and a period at the end. The writing should reflect the rubric made for the lessons and give the students an opportunity for free choice writing. Another writing opportunity is to describe a picture. Yet another one is let the student draw and you write what they tell you about their picture. The writing rubric will help with doing this.

Another strategy for extra help with this unit would be listening. Just reading other poems will be helpful. This can be done during transition times. It will help with vocabulary and comprehension. They will also learn how the characteristics of the persons and settings are described. Some of these techniques are: words that describe the characters, setting and events. The clues in the reader's voice will help describe the mood and personality of the characters. Descriptions that will tell what the picture is about. Words that rhyme are a good way to see if the student is listening. Learning to listen takes a conscious effort and a great deal of opportunity for this will be provided.

Also, activities involving speaking will help with reading and improve articulation. Speaking will also help with the students' image of themselves. I would suggest letting them stand when answering questions. This will give them an opportunity to speak in front of others. When the students speak, they should be speaking in rich, meaningful and engaging ways. The teacher should model good grammar in all situations. Having these strategies will make the objective easy to obtain.

A checklist should be included with this unit related to the illustration and the poem and all of the other components. This is an informal way of checking what the students are doing. This is intended to be used as the teacher circulates through the classroom. Before you use this checklist, explain each part of it at the beginning of the unit.

Reading Checklist

(table available in print form)

The next strategy that I will use as an assessment, as well as a rubric, is the writing one. This rubric will be used for illustration related to the poem, just as the checklist was in relation to the reading. The writing requirements will be assessed also. This rubric should be used for all poem related writings and illustrations. The writing rubric will help with sticking to specific goals and helping the students meet the writing requirements.

Writing Rubric

(table available in print form)

Classroom Activities

For this activity, I will first do three acrostic poems and then read a poem to go with the portfolio writing. The classroom lesson will need to be done at least once a week when you start the unit. You can spread out into a manageable twenty minutes two days a week. It can easily fit into your flexible grouping time. In each lesson the alliterations will go home with the students. This will allow them to have been exposed to the complete alphabet at the end of the unit. The poems will be introduced in different ways. That is, I may read it first or last. The students have already been to the Carnegie Museum of Art. A discussion concerning the art work and how it has a story will be strongly emphasized. An art making activity will be done. The activity will be related to the art techniques used in the making of the Chariot of the Aurora. It was made with lacquer, plaster and engravings. So the artist and I will try to give the students an opportunity to make a story by using some of these materials in the form of a mural. The students will be able to hang their work in the classroom and at home. Now they are ready. Here are three of the lessons. Others are included in Appendix B.

Lesson I

Introduce the letters G-K-O

G- Goat Gary Gobbles Grass

K-Karen Kangaroo Knitted Knots

O-Oliver Octopus Opens One Oyster

1. If they have any vocabulary words, put them on Poetry Word Wall. Ask what letters the alliteration showcases. 2. Pass out alliteration sentence strips so the students can take them home.

The poem for this lesson is a Couplet. Give some background on it. It is a poem that rhymes. It started in England. It is usually written in ten syllables in each line. They usually form the ending lines to Shakespearean sonnets.


Pick the spaghetti up off the mattress. Who ever let her become an actress?

A. Have the students discuss the poem. Ask some specific questions. Were there any rhyming words in this poem? What are the two rhyming words? B. Do the poem again. Have the students echo read with you. C. Let the student draw a picture of the rhyme. Put the two rhyming words on the writing section of the paper. Make sure you use the Reading Checklist and the Writing Checklist! I sometimes often need a reminder because I become so involved. This is a good time to read a poem; use one of the books in the unit.

Lesson II

Introduce the letters B-I-N

B- Buffalo Barbara Barbecues Burgers

I-Ingrid Iguana Impersonated Ice.

N-Nancy Nibbles New Necklaces.

1. If there is vocabulary in the sentences put it on the wall. ("Impersonate": Give the definition.) 2. Ask what letters the alliterations feature. Pass out the sentence strips to go home. Write them on the board or put them up. Remind the students to have their parents hang their sentences up.

A. Read the poem. Echo read the poem.

B. What type of feelings do you have when you hear this?

C. Let's choral read it. A clerihew is a poem that is written about a specific person. Format: There are four lines. The first line rhymes with the second line. The third line and the fourth line rhyme. The first line will name the person. The second line ends with something that rhymes with the name of the person. A clerihew should be funny.


My neighbor Miss Black Went and sat on a tack She was very sore So now she is not such a bore

  1. Have the students echo read the poem. Now the teacher should read it again.
  2. Do you think this a funny poem?
  3. Can you draw a funny poem about Miss Black sitting on the tack? 4. Write your own sentence. Use some of your inventive spelling and word wall.

Lesson III

Introduce the letters-T-P-R

T- Terry Turtle Tugs Twinkling Twigs

P- Peter Panda Picks Protruding Pickles

R- Rachel Raccoon Rapidly Runs Ring Races

1. Introduce the alliterations. Have the students recite the sentences. What letters are at the beginning of the words 2. If there are any vocabulary put it on the Poetry Word Wall. (Protruding, twinkling, rapidly)

A. Read the poem. Have the students echo read the poem.

B. What is the poem about? (Subject) Let's choral read it together.

C. Does it have a word that tells you about it? (Describe)

D. Draw a picture about he poem. Pick one of the subjects. E. Label your picture. You pick the label. It should describe your illustrations. A diamontes is written in the shape of a diamond. It talks about nature and opposing themes similarly to an emblem poem. The emblem poem is in the shape of what it is talking about, as when the words are in the shape of a tree or a chair. Dr. Fry shared this information with me and showed an example of it.

Format: The first line is the subject. The second line describes the subject and uses an adjective. The third line is verbs describing the subject words ending in (ing). The fourth line use two nouns that describe the subject and two nouns describing the antonym. The fifth line contains three verbs describing the antonym words ending in (ing). The sixth line contains two adjectives describing the antonym. The seventh line gives the antonym. The diamond shape is difficult to see, but when I write it out I will make it into a diamond shape.


  • Tree
  • Tall big swaying, dropping, reaching
  • Wood leaves, hard, solid
  • Sitting, crumbling, cracking
  • Grayish, bluish
  • Rock

After you have tried to do these poems try the one in the back of the unit under Appendix B.? I have included one of them to provide the continuity of the unit. The homework lesson, which is lesson eight, is the one that takes family involvement. In this lesson, you will find four alliterations instead of the standard three. This is an opportunity to build on the vocabulary word wall as a review. I would take this time to build sentences. You could also have a share writing time. Let the students use their speaking skills in front of the class.


10- Complete newspapers

30- Packs of Crayons

2- Packs of Sentence Strips

2- Jumbo Charts

1- Box of black markers

30- Journal Booklets

4- Poster Charts

1- Pack of 4" x 6" Index Cards

5 Packs of Copying Paper

3 Packs of Multi-Colored Papers

2 Packages of Nursery Rhymes Decoration

60-Poetry Pencils (pencils with a logo)

60- Cookies

30- Watercolors

1- Field trip permission slip ñ Carnegie Museum of Art

2- Parent letters- (homework) and (fieldtrip)

30- Name tags


DePaola, Tomie. (1985).Mother Goose. New York: G.P. Putman

This is a basic rhyming book. All of the mother goose rhymes are included in this book.

Encarta's Reference Library. (2003). Associationism. Microsoft Corporation. New York This is a library of any type of information you would need to find. It is an electronic encyclopedia.

Encarta's Reference Library. (2003). Poetry. Microsoft Corporation. New York There is a complete write up on the history of poetry. It discusses all of the variations of poetry from classic to modern contributed by Karen Volkman.

Gangewere, R. Jay. (1998).From Paris to Pittsburgh- Sailing on the Normandie. Pittsburgh: The Carnegie

A look at the Normandie and a discussion of what it was like to travel on it by museum supporters. It has pictures of travelers and the grand salon where the Chariot of Aurora is located.

Giovanni, Nikki. (1971). Spin a Soft Black Song ñ Song Poems for Children. New

York: Hill and Wang

A book concentrating on an African American theme about children and their experiences.

Goldish, Meish. (1993). Thematic Poems Songs and Finger plays: 45 Irresistible Rhymes and Activities to Build Literacy. New York. Scholastic Inc.

This is an activity book with poems and lessons to supplement other themes in your class room.

Hellman, Priscilla. (1965). New York: A Merry Mouse Book of Favorite Poems.

This is a collection of happy poems in various forms to be read to children.

Hughes, Langston. A Collection of Poems. (1994). New York: Alfred A. Knoff Inc.

This is a collection of lightly written children's poems by the author.

Office of Literacy Plus. (2005). Elementary Reading/Writing Portfolio. Pittsburgh: Pittsburgh Public Schools This booklet has a complete listing of the requirements for each grade level to complete portfolios.

Silverstein, Shel. (1974). Where the Sidewalk Ends the poems and drawing. New York: Harper and Row This is a book of collection of his poems and illustrations. It is a fun book to use on a daily basis.

The Beck Group. Text Talk. (2002). University of Pittsburgh. Pittsburgh. The Beck Group

A handbook that comes with a workshop that teaches ways for students to get the most from reading. The development of the student's comprehension skills is related to the text that is read.

Classroom Books

Lansky, Bruce. and Stephen Carpenter. (1991). Kids Pick the Funniest Poems. New York: Meadow Brook Press

This is a combination of a collection of popular children's poems. They are very funny and in all different forms.

Lansky, Bruce. and Stephen Carpenter. (2004) Mary had a Little Jam and other Silly Rhymes. New York: Meadow Brook Press

This is a book that had input from kindergarten teachers. It is a collection of rhymes.

Lee, Dennis. and Jack Prelutsky and Debbie Tillie. (1977). Dinosaur Dinner with a Slice of Alligator Pie. New York: Scholastic Inc.

A book of silly and exaggerated poems.

Trapani, Iza. (1996). I'm a Little Teapot. Massachusetts: Coyote Press This is a book of rhymes done in over twenty five variations of the title.

Appendix A

Letter for Homework

Dear Parents,

We are studying poetry in our classroom. Your child will be required to complete two Acrostic poems. Please see example below. You will find this type of poetry to be fun. They should draw an outline of the word they are using and the list of endings that is provided. We will also be celebrating poetry for National Poetry Month in April. If you would like to come in and read some poetry let me know. We are especially seeking out children's poems.

Thank you

Ms. Johnson

(chart available in print form)

Letter for Field Trip to Carnegie Museum of Art

Dear Parents,

To be able to enrich your child's awareness in the use of Visual Art related to reading, a field trip has been planned to give him\her first hand knowledge of visual art and the story it can tell. This experience will be integrated into the classroom instruction related to Poetry. We will be taking an educational trip to the Carnegie Museum of Art. This trip will be of no cost to you. An artist in residence will be attending. An explanation of the art work will be given. If you wish your child to attend, please sign below.

My son\daughter ————————- has my permission to attend the field trip to the Carnegie Museum of Art.

Date———————- Signature—————————-


Ms. Johnson

Appendix B

A bonus lesson has been provided. There are several more I could offer, such as Cinquain, the American Haiku and the Exaggeration Poem, but you get the idea.

Lesson IV

Introduce the letters Z-M-U

Z- Zeta Zebra Zigzags Zealously

M-Money Maker Monkey Mike Manages Manicotti

U- Ulysses Umbrella's under Ulna

1. If there are any vocabulary words put them on the wall. (Zealously, manage.) Give the definition of the words. 2. Write the sentences on the board. Give each of the students a sentence strip to take home. What are the letters in the poem? A Limerick is a poem that is funny. It has a rhyme and a rhythm, as discussed in the overview.

Format: The first line states what is going on. It has eight syllables. The second line tells what happen. It has eight syllables. The third line tells what went wrong. It has five syllables. The fourth line tells what went wrong. It has five syllables. The fifth line tells the result. It has eight syllables.

The rhyming goes like this. The last word in lines one, two, and five all rhyme. The words in line three and line four rhyme. The limerick is a type of poem you can have fun with and use to teach syllables.

The rhythm goes like this.

The first line goes- la lum la la lum la l a lum

The second line goes- la lum la la lum la la lum

The third line goes- la lum la la lum

The fourth line goes- la la lum la la lum

The fifth line goes- la lum la la lum la la lum


There once was a boy from Britain. Who ran down the street he would spit in. He flooded the road,

then swam past a toad and now he has a fat kitten.

A. What is the poem about? Have the students echo the poem.

B. Choral read the poem.

C. Clap the syllables of the poem. Discuss the poem a little. This is an opportunity to talk about rhythm. Do the rhythm with the students. Have the students clap their names out in syllables.

D. Draw a picture to go with the poem. Use the word kitten to build your rhyming words. Write rhyming words in a list.

The Acrostic Phonogram

Introduce letters S-E-W-X

S- Sassy Sally Seal Slurps Sour Soda

E- Edward Elephant Escapes England

W- Wilbur Wolf Writes Wrinkled Worthless Words

X- Xavier fox X-rays Xylophones - (explain that this letter is often seen at the end of words)

This lesson will take several days. It will include a home connection with an assignment that will require parent involvement. The homework will be accompanied with a letter explaining the work.


A phonogram is a word family that has the same ending in a word. For example:

Phonogram Families

(-it,-ug,-ub, -ip, - ig,-op, - am, - ap, - an, -in, -et, -ot,-en,-at)

Now an Acrostic poem is a poem that is in vertical form. It usually has an outline around it, such as the thing that it names. Say for instance you are saying the word hat. The letters would be written in vertical form with a silhouette of a hat. Then you would write a word to go with the poem. Make a homework sheet and use the sample letter for your parent letter that is in appendix A.

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