Reading Lesson 4: Poetry Read-Aloud—Savoring Sound, Rhythm, and the Music of Words
• Poetry anthologies and copies of poems at a variety of reading levels for independent reading
• Chart paper, student copies, or overhead of several teacher-selected poems with exceptional word choice, onomatopoeias, and rhythmic language (read beforehand to consider word choice, rhythm, and language to highlight)
• Students’ writing notebooks
• Class “What Is Poetry?” chart started in Lesson 3 (see end of lesson)
Students hear and read poetry aloud to experience and appreciate poetic language.
• Understand poetry elements, including word choice, rhythm, rhyme, imagery, metaphor, and visual design.
• Create mental images to understand literary language and deepen comprehension.
For more tips on reading poetry aloud to students, see Guiding Readers and Writers by Fountas and Pinnell, pages 418-419.
Explain to students that history tells us poetry was first a way to communicate orally. It is best enjoyed by hearing it read aloud. Today and every day during this study, we will savor poetic language by hearing poetry read aloud, which help us when we read poetry, as well as write poetry.
Modeling reading poetry is the first step in helping students read it for themselves. Convey the poem’s rhythm and meaning with your voice and avoid a long explanation or presentation before or after the reading.
Read the first poem you chose without students seeing the words. Read it again and allow students to see the poem on chart paper, overhead, handout. Ask them to listen carefully, paying close attention to elements, such as the sound and music of the words. Briefly allow students to “Turn and Talk” about words or phrases they particularly enjoyed. Point out onomatopoeia and ask students to think about how the author wants those words to sound. Read them again along with any other interesting and powerful words or language.
Read aloud other poems you chose, following the same steps as above. After the “Turn and Talk,” encourage students to add words they really enjoyed to their writing notebook lists. Ask a few students to share words they found particularly musical.
Today students work in pairs or small groups, reading poems aloud to one another and enjoying poetic language. Ask them to choose one poem they feel has strong poetic language and musical words to read to another group during Sharing.
Independent and Small Group Time
• Students read from poetry books and/or teacher-selected poems.
• Confer with individual students and/or provide small group instruction.
• Circulate to support pairs and groups with their practice.
• Pair groups of students to share selected poems. Add poems “are meant to be read alou • d” to the class “What Is Poetry?” chart (see end of this lesson).
Reading Workshop Lesson 4: Poetry Read-Aloud—Savoring Sound, Rhythm, and the Music of Words
|What Is Poetry?
• Has line breaks
• Creates images in readers’ minds
• Creates emotion
• Is generally short pieces of writing
• Uses powerful language
• Uses figurative language such as similes and metaphors
• Uses random indentions
• Has different line lengths
• Songs are poems paired with music
• Are meant to be read aloud