A few weeks ago, I talked about sharing poetry every day with my students. I also hinted that I would share an awesome resource that I use to work with students to close read poetry and go deeper than just reading it, mining for gold and letting it be.
Reading Poetry in the Middle Grades: 20 Poems and Activities That Meet the Common Core Standards and Cultivate a Passion for Poetry by Paul Janeczko is an awesome resource for close reading poetry. It also helps you, the teacher, to guide the students to look closely and take note of things that they may have missed during their initial reading.
I first came across this great resource book when I was searching online. After I saw the few samples chapters and how it hits on Common Core standards, I knew I had to get the book!
There are 20 poems and activities to work with. Each poem and activity is set up and ready for you to copy and go- who doesn’t love that?! There is an activity page that goes with each poem that helps they students to dive into the poem and look a little closer. These activities are quick things for the students to do that will help guide their discussion and deepen their understanding of the poem.
The poems are on tons of different topics and each poem has a lot of things that students can talk about. Along with poems and activities are a few pages of great commentary for the teacher. I found these really helpful in helping me to feel more confident about talking through and working with the poems with my students. My students never complain when we have to read these poems, and I have found that their confidence in tackling poetry has increased this year! Paul Janeczko also has other companion or paired poem suggestions that are related to the poem that is being featured.
I could go on and on about this book and how great it is. It is defiantly one resource you MUST have on hand. It takes away all the prep work of searching for the perfect poem that hits your standards, the students can relate to and that is easy enough to tackle in a c lass period. The work can be done in about 20 minutes!!
If you want to see a preview of the book, go to Amazon and click on the cover to see inside.