Happy Poetry Friday! I have spent the entire week at Wealthy Elementary School in East Grand Rapids, MI, writing poetry and nonfiction with students, and it has been awesome! I’ll be sharing their poems throughout the next week.
The 4th graders and I wrote found poems about the moon . Their teachers and I selected several moon-related Wonders from Wonderopolis.org. Each student had a printed copy of his or her Wonder, and most had read them once ahead of time.
Most students aren’t familiar with found poems, so pulling out words from nonfiction texts to make a poem (which may or may not be about the topic of the source text) is a totally new concept to them. In our session, I showed them a couple of examples of found poems I’ve written recently and then explained my steps for finding a poem:
- Hard copy
- Read out loud
- Free verse draft
- Look for small words when needed
Then we went through the steps together with our Wonders. We read through and circled words we loved. Then we spent a few minutes murmuring out loud to ourselves the different words in different combinations. We thought about what meanings suggested themselves. On fresh papers, we jotted a first draft of a poem. If we felt like we really needed a filler word like “a” or “then,” we went back into our hard copy to make sure the word was there.
I asked student volunteers to share their favorite line, so that we could share them here with you. They did a terrific job! And if you missed the biopoem excerpts from 3rd graders, that’s another fun way to make poetry from nonfiction topics.
What do you think?
And don’t miss the Poetry Friday Roundup with Kimberley at Written Reflections (reflections–perfect for the moon!).