The ideal accompaniment to this tour is a classroom poetry-writing
activity. There are many ways to implement such a lesson.
Samples is a page that explains poetry formats with
examples. Use this in conjunction with the site featured in the
tour to allow your students to choose a style that they wish to
use for their own writing. You may assign a topic or permit the
children to choose their own. You may also instead have your students
write a poem of a specific type each day for a week or two during
a poetry unit. In this manner, every child experiences each style.
Compiling their writing into a book of poetry that can be enjoyed
by students and parents is another method of adding interest to
To locate examples of well-known poems that fit the various styles
of poetry that your students are learning, see Forms
of Poetry for Children. This site explains some additional
poetry formats. Discuss why "Casey at the Bat" by Ernest
Thayer qualifies as "narrative" poetry.
Owl and the Pussycat, a part of Jan Bretts Web site,
and read her Newsnotes about how she designed her book around the
Print and distribute a Dr.
Seuss Cross-Word Search. The puzzles come in three levels
and require students to solve questions like crosswords and find
the answers as in word search puzzles.
Seusss Seussville has an excellent collection
of online games and activity suggestions for your classroom to complement
this authors many books of rhyme. His Seussville
University: Reading includes an interactive game that focuses
on letter recognition skills and printable sheets that help students
decipher and identify simple words.
Peruse the collection of poetry offered by Ogden
Nash Online, and choose a few selections to share with your
class. Then have the students write poems about Ogden Nash in the
same style he used. If you prefer, share more examples of Nashs
animal poetry and have the students write original poetry about
other animals they like.
Share poems by Jack Prelutsky such as A
Pizza the Size of the Sun. Instruct your students to make
a web or flow chart that displays a graphical representation of
the poem. A web of "A Pizza the Size of the Sun" might
show the word "pizza" circled in the center, with spokes
of the web radiating from it displaying phrases like "weighs
more than a ton," "too big to toss," and "oceans
of sauce." Invite the students to use this type of organizer
for their next poetry writing assignment.
Some of the best poetry is about holidays. There is something about
the smell of a Thanksgiving turkey, pop of a firecracker, and melodic
tones of a yuletide carol that sparks creative juices. What better
way could there be to put these flowing juices to good use than
the writing of poetry? Using Jack Prelutskys "Thanksgiving
Day Parade" as an example, invite your students to express
their thoughts about a favorite holiday or celebratory event through
Take your class to Seussville
University: Science, and your students will thank you! This
site provides two science-oriented online games and one printable
activity sheet. The activities are easy to follow and deal with
the scientific themes of animal grouping, sounds made by animals,
Merge the art of writing poetry and descriptive language with the
scientific skill of observation through a lens. If you have a microscope,
set it up so that your students can examine a few common items up-close.
Next, have your students draw two circles on a sheet of paper. In
one, they should draw one specimen viewed from under the lens. In
the other, they may write a descriptive free-verse poem in a spiral
shape, beginning at the inside or on the outer edge, but remaining
within the circle.
Read Shel Silversteins The Missing Piece to your class
and relate it to a study of circles and geometry or fractions. To
incorporate the activity into a fraction lesson, cut several circles,
half the number of students in your class, of the same size and
then cut out fractional pieces from them. Each one should be different.
Pass out a circle or piece to each student in the class and have
the students attempt to match their pieces with the circles to which
they belong. When you have finished, you may mix them up and perform
the activity again.
Have your students show off their counting skills the Seuss way
University: Math. An interactive counting game is featured
at this site as well as downloadable Adobe Acrobat files that teach
students about the number two, reinforce their addition skills,
and enable them to practice their counting skills as they connect
the dots. Seussville
University: Reasoning has activities that exercise your
students ability to recognize patterns and compare sets.
Select a few poems that interest the class and graph the frequency
of the words that appear in them. What words are the most common?
How do the results of your study of words in poetry compare to the
findings of the 100
Most Frequent Words in Books for Beginning Readers.
Have your students choose one of the poems from Grandpa
Tuckers Rhymes and Tales or Poetry
for Kids and illustrate it. If you prefer, assign the
poems or allow the students to sign up for them and create an illustrated
book of these poems.
Channel your students artistic talents with a fun portrayal
of a Dr. Seuss character! Using only the poetic description of the
character, not the illustrations, have your students recreate one
of the famous figures from a tale by Dr. Seuss. Make the assignment
challenging by selecting an obscure character from a lesser-known
Turn the animal poetry of Ogden Nash into mobiles for your classroom.
First, have the students choose poems from Ogden
Nash. Next, instruct them to write the titles of the poems
on rectangles. Hanging from the title, the students should add an
animal figure made of paper, and the lines of the poems should be
written on index cards and hung from the animals. The cards should
be organized so that the first line hangs closest to the animal,
and others dangle slightly lower in succession until the last is
hung at the lowest point.
Compile a music book of musical poems that your students can sing
from memory . Add entries of nursery rhymes and any other poems
they know by heart. As you encounter new poems, include them in
the book as well. Put it in a place where students may examine it
during free time.
Record your students singing nursery rhymes or reciting Mother
Goose tales. Allow the students to listen to the recordings and
perfect them. Have the students make books that illustrate the rhymes.
Schedule a visit to an early childhood classroom and permit the
students to share their books and recordings with the children.
Links to sites containing
lesson plans and activities:
for the Elementary Classroom