Thursday, April 24, 2008

Woodbury Celebrates National Poetry Month

(This entry was compiled by Ms. Cummings, Supervisor of Curriculum and Instruction.)

Poems, poems, poems
There are poems everywhere.
There are haiku on the board.
There are rhymes running down the stairs.
There are limericks on the ceiling.
There’s acrostics in my hair.

There’s poetry, poetry, poetry
Flying through the springtime air.
For as far as the eye can see.
Spend a day in April at any school
In the town of Woodbury…

West End Third Grader Imani Campbell poses proudly with her butterfly poem based on the writing of poet Christina Rosetti.

During the month of April, Woodbury students, from PreKindergarten age through grade 12, are celebrating National Poetry Month in so many different creative and exciting ways. Here’s how:

• For PreK learners working with Mrs. Seigel, Mrs. Maxymuk and Mrs. Whitman, poetry means nursery rhymes. The students are using music CDs to help them practice their nursery rhymes for a scheduled June parents’ program.

• At West End, Mrs. Gorham’s Kindergarteners learned a Quack, Quack poem written by Pat Mora and were inspired to rewrite it using cats (Meow, Meow) and birds (Tweet, Tweet) as the main characters.

• In Mrs. McLaughlin’s Kindergarten class, the Evergreen students worked one-on-one with their teacher and wrote original poems expressing how spring feels, looks, tastes, sounds and smells.

Deja Talmadge wrote:

Spring…comfortable like a rocking chair/a blossom flower/that smells like the air…

• For Mrs. Muldoon’s young writers, it was exciting to learn that sometimes poems can rhyme and sometimes they don’t have to. She helped her Evergreen Kindergarteners explore both types of poems this month.

• In first grade, Mrs. Spittal connected her young writers with second grade poets in Miss Guerin’s class. The two West End classes were able to poetically inspire each other! Across the hall, in Mrs. Brewer’s classroom, students created shape poems online.

• For Mrs. Runzer’s first graders at Walnut, every day begins with the daily National Poetry Month poem read aloud during the morning announcements. During Guided Reading, the boys and girls work at poetry activity centers as well.

• Walnut second graders have been inspired to write similes in their poetry describing their favorite stuffed animal. “His fur is like brown sugar,” wrote one of Miss Hill’s students.

• At Evergreen, Miss Lyons’ writers have created a book featuring seven poems. They will perform their favorite poem with family and friends at a poetry reading scheduled for May 2nd.

• Mrs. Tsomabaris’ writers have been collecting their writing in a special poetry folder all month long. They are enjoying reading their work aloud to one another.

• Third grade classes across the district welcomed Ms. Cummings into their classrooms for an hour long Poetry Writers’ Workshop this month. First, each classroom collaborated on a group poem “I Can’t Write a Poem” based on the poem of the same name by Bruce Lansky. Next they each chose one of three different poetry forms for a personal piece. Finally, each poet was invited to share their writing at the end of the Writers’ Workshop and receive finger snapping applause and positive feedback from the other students.

• Miss Estep’s students are working with Literacy Coach Mrs. Frapaul on Diamante poetry. In addition, Mrs. Jess’s third graders at West End We each chose one of their favorite pieces and entered a National Poetry Contest – “Celebrating Young Poets.”

• Fourth graders at Evergreen participated in a Haiku Hike based on a book by the same name and were motivated to write about the natural beauty they saw as they walked outside. Mrs. Cremeens’ students at West End moved on from Haiku form to experiment with limericks and acrostic poetry. Walnut fourth grade students have been proud to practice and perform the daily poem everyday for the morning announcements during the month of April.

• Grade Four Enrichment students across the district have been working with Mrs. Foran to write cinquains about some of the real-life mysteries that they have been studying: Stonehenge, Machu Picchu, Easter Island, Atlantis, Bermuda Triangle, and Roswell.

• Finally, in grades six through twelve English students have been invited to write in the style of poet Nikki Giovanni for this year’s One School/One Poet Contest.

A Poet Tree “grows” outside of Mrs. Rath’s classroom at West End School

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