Poetry books. Every day I read a poem to my students and we Mine for Gold. To understand Mining for Gold, click here to see a previous post where I explain how I do it in my room.
I don’t close read it with them, or analyze every line. We just enjoy the poem, mine for gold and let it be. Every. Single. Day.
I want my students to become familiar with poetry and I want to expose them to many different types of poems. I want them to see that reading poems isn’t something we just have to do in April for National Poetry Month, but that poems, like fiction and non-fiction are to be read and enjoyed.
What are my favorite go to poetry books that the kids really enjoy? Paint Me Like I Am, Tell the World, Angst: Teen Voices From the Edge and You Hear Me: Poem and Writing for boys.. Things I have to Tell You: Poems and Writings by Teenage Girls. Make sure you check out the poems, before sharing with students, and there are some content and words that may be inappropriate for your students.
I’ve had students beginning to check out my poetry books, and want to know which book a certain poem came from after sharing a poem because they want to read more like that. As we mine for gold they’ve started to notice things like structure, word choices the author makes and they even notice figurative language in the poems. They are definitely growing in their interaction with the text, but I’m mindful to not force it.
After doing this for the last six weeks, I have had students mention that they should bring in their own poems to share, and that my friends, was music to my ears! Students wanting to find poems they like and bring them in to share?! Sounds awesome. 🙂
Now, don’t get me wrong, there is a place for close reading poetry and I will share my experiences with that and a great resource that has been successful with my 8th graders in a future post.
I really believe to be able to successfully close read a poem, we first have to start helping students overcome their fear of poetry and let them see that there are so many types of poems to enjoy.
What are some poems or poetry books you like sharing with your students?