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First Grade
 

Click on the link below to view a description of a curriculum unit that exemplifies how different core subject areas are enacted within a particular grade. These descriptions provide a glimpse of life inside SCCS.

Poetry Future Link

 

Literacy Program: Poetry
1st Grade
 
1st Grade

An important and joyful component of the first grade literacy program is the on-going study of poetry. This study begins with reading and sharing poetry in the classroom with the goal of introducing students to a variety of poetic devices and styles. Everyday we read a different poem, some chosen by teachers and some brought into school by students who are motivated by the communal nature of the activity and the opportunity for sharing. After we read each poem we laminate it. Each week we walk around the school building looking for places where poetry should live. We then post our poems creating a living anthology of poetry.

Poetry

This study is inspired by the ideas and work of Georgia O'Keefe and her belief in looking for beauty in the everyday. Consequently, we begin with natural objects. We go on scavenger hunts where children excitedly collect rocks, pine cones, pine needles, leaves, pods, berries, and the occasional piece of trash. These found objects are brought back to school and placed in the students' writer's trays or memory boxes. Students then engage in careful noticing as they draw detailed scientific or realistic sketches. They then use their words/language to describe the objects turning their careful noticing into poetry.

As students begin to write their own poems, we shift from reading a new poem each day to reading one a week. Each poem is chosen because it represents different poetic devices or elements, such as sensory words, sound words (what the poet is hearing), imagination, list poems, illustrations, beauty in the everyday, questions (allowing the poet to talk directly to the reader), heartbeat and repetition, comparison, title (which opens the door to the poem), and mentor poets. These poems, taught in mini-lessons, are read each day by in a shared reading format, and most importantly stimulate discussions. As we introduce different devices, we add them to our poet's toolbox. At the end of each week, copies of the poem are made that are small enough to fit into the students' pockets. Students take their poems home with them as we introduce the concept that people should never be without poetry. Finally, to promote the idea that poetry is alive, we invite poets and even acapella groups to come and share their work and thinking about language, poetry and communication.


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