The following post is from the April newsletter of StarWalk KidsMedia:
Read like a
Write like a Poet:
CCSS-aligned activities for National Poetry
This month we shift to writing and take a look at the link
between informational text and poetry, using Anchor Standard 2 from the Anchor
Standards for Writing: CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.W.2: Write informative/explanatory
texts to examine and convey complex ideas and information clearly and accurately
through the effective selection, organization, and analysis of content.
April's featured selections from StarWalk Kids Media offer wonderful mentor
texts to support this Standard and even have some fun in the process!
For grades 3–5: A poem
or an essay? Children love poetry. It's short. It has rhythm
and beat. It raises pictures in your mind. It uses words very precisely to
inform you, delight you, scare you, or make you laugh. And it leaves you with a
feeling that is somehow deeper than a mere collection of facts. Yet as Jane
Yolen wrote about her collection, Sea Watch, poetry
can be a powerful means of conveying complex ideas. "It is amazing how much
research goes into each poem, because the poem has to be accurate as well as
Choose one of the poems from Sea
Watch. Warning: Sharks is easy to understand but it offers both
information and a deeper meaning along with the thrill. With the whole group,
read the poem and consider, what is fact? What is interpretation? Notice the
precise choice of words such as "bear-trap jaw." What do you think Jane Yolen is
saying about people, even though this poem is about sharks?
students to research an animal of their choice. The StarWalk Library offers 83
books about animals and animal behavior including Giant
Shark, by Caroline Arnold. Then, using one of the poems from
Sea Watch as a mentor text, invite them to write a
short poem about their chosen animal that gives information and also says
something deeper about the animal's place in nature or how it relates to humans.
Don't just copy the poem, but use the techniques you observed in the whole-group
discussion. Extend the project by having students illustrate their poetry with
drawings or images from the Internet.
Share the poems. In ancient times
poems were made to be told and sung!