Poetry Folders

Let's talk shared reading today!  Specifically, poetry folders.  I absolutely LOVE the power of poems in the classroom.  During the course of a week, I can hit phonics sounds, sight words, vocabulary, comprehension, punctuation, and fluency all in one poem.  So when I'm stretched thin for enough time during my literacy block, I reach for a poem to guarantee I get the biggest bang for my buck!  And my firsties have the best time doing poems too, so that helps!

Here's a look at a week's worth of poem instruction during shared reading...keeping in mind that shared reading is a MAXIMUM of 15 minutes in my classroom!


On Monday, I introduce the new poem.  Let's use the Color poem as an example because it's the first poem I do during the year and since we are in back to school mode, it seems appropriate!  I pull up a full color version on our smart board and they listen to me read {or sing in this case} the poem.
{Keep reading for a link to grab this color master for FREE!}

After they listen, we echo read the poem 2-3 times, depending on the difficulty.  An echo read means I read a line and you echo me back.  I make sure to tell the kids to echo my words, my pacing and my expression so we are practicing our fluency!

They listen, we echo read, and then we read it together.

Then, we circle sight words we know on our smart board.  And that's it for Monday!


On Tuesday, we reread the poem together and learn any motions we have for the poem.  Since I'm offering the color poem as a freebie, I talked this cutie patootie into doing the motions for you so you can hear the tune and learn the motions for this one!

Once we finish rereading with motions, we find words we don't know.  In our classroom, these words in poems are called sparkle words because they make the writing shine brighter and give some style to the poem.  Most poems in my Year Long Poetry Packet have sparkle words, especially if you have lots of ELL babies in your room, but not all do.

It's possible that the color poem doesn't have any sparkle words for your kiddos, but for some of my ELL babies, plum is a word they don't know.  So we usually talk about that one.  We talk about what the word means, attach a body motion to it {if we can} to solidify their understanding.  We add some sparkles around the word in the text and illustration to help us remember the meaning!

Also, on this day, we do some comprehension questions--especially if there are no sparkle words.  Like, "What did the poem say was red?" and "What color does the author describe after blue?"


On Wednesday, we reread the poem again with motions.  Then, we work on phonics skills for the week.  With the color poem, I just work on color words because those are being added to our word wall at the beginning of the year.  But other poems easily hit short vowels, long vowel patterns, blends, prefixes and suffixes....I can pretty much make whatever we are studying work with our poems!

We practice finding our color words and take turns coming up to the board to highlight them in their appropriate color...gotta teach those kiddos to color code early! #ocdteacherprobs


Fluency day!  My kiddos LOVE this day!  We reread of poem with our motions for review.  Then, we play read in 4 voices....using this anchor chart to help us {also included in the FREEBIE...link below!}

We all read together in each voice.  The fourth voice, the star voice, is for kids to make up a voice they'd like to read the poem in.  My all time favorite voice they've come up with is a chipmunk voice (with your nose pinched!)  #cracksmeupeverytime

We also talk about any punctuation marks that may affect our expression or pacing in the poem as well on this day.


Friday is poetry folder day.  Usually I'm super short on time on Fridays, so we end up doing this as their morning work in the mornings.  They get a copy of the poem and circle the sight words, highlight our focus phonics sound, add any sparkles for sparkle words if necessary and then illustrate the poem.  If they finish early, they practice reading it on their own.

Also, at the end of the week, I can add our poem to one of our literacy stations where kids will order the lines of the poem from the week before using the master on the outside of my manilla envelope to help {aka the easy way!} or by turning the envelope over and ordering the lines without help {the challenge!}  They LOVE this station!

Be sure and grab my 4 voices and color poem FREEBIE and check out all 48 poems in my Year Long Poetry Packet!

1 comment

  1. I just bought the whole pack and am so excited to use them with my first graders! This blog post was very helpful to getting started :)


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