April is National Poetry Month!
In first grade we are learning about poetry by playing the paper bag game. I don’t tell the students what we are going to be studying for the next few library lessons. Instead I introduce poetry with a game – The Bulldog Paperbag Game!
When I was in Canada in February, I stayed at the Bulldog Hotel.
Of course, the Bulldog Readers Librarian would stay at the Bulldog Hotel, right?
It was actually a coincidence, but when I got this bag for something I purchased, I knew it would come in handy at some point! Our poetry game was the perfect use for my bag.
The object of the game is to become observers, by using their senses, but not their sight! Their observations would become a poem.
Then I selected four objects I had in the library and had them ready to place in the bag.
After I blindfolded a volunteer, I had the student reach inside the bag and describe what they felt.
As each student described what they felt, I wrote their words on a piece of chart paper. Then we took the blindfold off and the students had the chance to guess what was inside the bag. The name of the item became the title of the poem.
Shaped like a square
After writing four of these descriptions, I asked the students what we were writing. We had several guesses, until someone said, “A Poem!” That was followed by, “No, that’s not a poem. Poems have to rhyme!”
It was the perfect transition to the idea that poems can be written about anything or in any style, rhyming or not! Stay tuned for next week’s lesson on writing group poems about an object.
The idea for this lesson came from the book, Joyful Ways to Teach Young Children to Write Poetry by Jodi Weisbart.