Friday, February 03, 2017

HERE WE GO: Teaching poetry skills

I have recently been tooting the horn about my latest book with Janet Wong, Here We Go: A Poetry Friday Power Book. This is the second book in the Poetry Friday Power Book series. Book 1 in the series, You Just Wait: A Poetry Friday Power Book, was published in September 2016 and was recently selected as a 2017 NCTE Poetry Notable.  Here We Go: A Poetry Friday Power Book for children, tweens, and teens, features 12 PowerPack sets that combine: 1) diverse anchor poems; 2) new original response poems and mentor poems by Janet Wong; 3) PowerPlay prewriting activities; and 4) Power2You writing prompts. 


The twelve anchor poems for HERE WE GO were written by: Naomi Shihab Nye, Ibtisam Barakat, Joseph Bruchac, David Bowles, Eileen Spinelli, David L. Harrison, Kate Coombs, Robyn Hood Black, Michelle Heidenrich Barnes, Renée M. LaTulippe, Margaret Simon, and Carole Boston Weatherford. Their poems are joined together with twenty-four new poems by Janet (Wong) that form a story featuring a diverse group of kids who are concerned about social justice. In addition, I created PowerPlay activities to launch each PowerPack and Power2You writing prompts to conclude. There is also extensive back matter resources for readers and writers. 

Several of my favorite bloggers have been kind enough to write their own posts about Here We Go and what they like about it. (Thank you, friends!)

What is NOT obvious is that Janet (Wong) and I also incorporated skill instruction and modeled 12 skills in each of the PowerPacks (based on frequently taught poetry skills and CCSS). I'd like to demonstrate what that looks like. But first...


Here's one example PowerPack to demonstrate how this works. This is PowerPack 10.   

The skill focus for PowerPack 10 is alliteration. 

There are 11 different skills woven through the poems in this book with one skill focus for each PowerPack. Each PowerPack infuses that skill through each component of the PowerPack-- from the PowerPlay activity, through the three poems, to the final Power2You writing activity.
First, students "play" with language. In PowerPack 10, they choose one of these letters: P M N S T F W and then circle all the words that begin with their chosen letter-- setting the stage for pointing out what alliteration is. PLUS, all the words come from the poems in the book. "P" words are highlighted here.



  
After students have read the poems and talked about them, you can go back and read them together and look for examples of alliteration-- the repeated use of initial consonants. There are examples in each of the three poems in this PowerPack highlighted here.


Finally, students also have the opportunity to write a poem and experiment with alliteration in their own poems in the final Power2You activity page. 






Now head on over to Penny's place for the Poetry Friday gathering. 

13 comments:

Julieanne said...

I can't wait to get this book. Sounds like you have made a tool that begs to be used. Thank you.

Robyn Hood Black said...

Terrific post, Sylvia, perfect to share - and an amazing book. I am beyond honored to have a poem included. Thanks to you and Janet for the layers and layers of creativity and work (& devotion!) that go into your collections!

Brenda Harsham said...

I like how you illustrate the tools in a poet's arsenal, but you highlight the diverse, too. Giving voice to the underrepresented. A great project. Congrats.

Kay said...

If I were still teaching, I would have to have this book. Even though I am no longer in the classroom, I still want it for myself!

Penny Parker Klostermann said...

This is amazing! All classroom teachers should grab it and enhance what they're already teaching about poetry!

Margaret Simon said...

I am using the book weekly in my classroom. I can attest to the skill building, conversation sparking, and life enriching aspects of each PowerPack. Such a wonderful resource!

Jane @ www.raincitylibrarian.ca said...

Oh how I love this. When I was a child, poetry was taught as if it was something only the very talented or elite could ever accomplish, and certainly not something that just anyone could write. What a shame that was. So glad to see that children today are experiencing poetry in a much more positive, encouraging and fun way!

Mitchell Linda said...

Sylvia, thank you! I just received my first copy and will be making sure a copy goes into a giveaway for Librarians in my district. I will be sure to include this post with the giveaway so that they can see the layers of value this book offers students. Here We Go is an astonishing opportunity for reading and writing. We are so fortunate that you and Janet are keeping our feet to the poetry AND teaching fires. It is GREAT!

Mary Lee said...

This is a fabulous teachers' guide!

Bridget Magee said...

Looking forward to getting my hands on HERE WE GO, Sylvia! I've so enjoyed creating poetry using the prompts in YOU JUST WAIT, I know your new book will be just as inspirational. =)

Sylvia Vardell said...

Thank y'all so much for all your support and kind words about this post. It's always tricky talking about skills because you certainly don't want the poem to get buried under skills instruction. But I think it's possible to do both-- if we begin with sharing poems in fun ways first.

Wish I could figure out how to reply to each post. Sorry! But thanks again to each of you for your lovely comments!
Sylvia

laurasalas said...

Wow. What y'all are doing is amazing, Sylvia! Congratulations! I wish Pearson or Heinemann or someone would take y'all on as an imprint, so you could do just content and let someone else worry about some of the logistics stuff. Congrats on this new book!

Charles Waters said...

Incredible. The work you and Janet are doing is SO vital. Many, many congrats. I agree with Laura as well.