This was an easy choice for me. I knew right away it was my Poetry Station. My students are given a poem for the week, which they cut out and glue in their journal. On the opposite page, they make connections to the poem and then illustrate under their writing. This year, my students have been avoiding this station like the plague. By the end of the week, my poem file would remain full of unused poems. I became determined to find a way to get my class more excited about poetry.
I decided to start by thumbing through the collection of poems I've been using over the years. One thing I noticed was that even though they were supposed to be kid friendly, perhaps they weren't as kid friendly as I thought. I started to draw the conclusion that maybe my students were reluctant to write about the poems, because they were having trouble understanding or making personal connections to the poems I had chosen. I decided to test this out by writing an original kid friendly poem that went along with the theme of the story we were reading for the week. I created a simple template that still had space for them to make a personal connection, but also focused on a few grammar concepts. I slipped it in as their new station and waited to see how they responded. I couldn't believe how well it went. They absolutely LOVED the new format and really seemed to enjoy the simple poems. I've gone from the poetry station being the least popular station to some even wanting to get it done during recess. I have continued this for about a month now and my poetry station is definitely a new class favorite!
Here is a peek at a couple of our poems: