As you experiment with using each of these ten strategies for sharing poems with young people, it will quickly become obvious that the strategies can be combined and overlapped. For example, there are many poems that have BOTH a repeated line or refrain suited to whole group participation as well as a linear list format that invites individual volunteers. Many poems offer similar combinations of whole group, small group, individual, and other read aloud configurations. Often the poem itself will “show” you how to perform it if you study the lines and their arrangement on the page. Once you begin inviting children’s participation in poem performance, you will find that they themselves will have ideas about how to try a poem this way or that way. Follow their lead!
The list begins:
1. ADULT READ ALOUD
The adult reads the poem aloud to the class. Choose poems you like and read them slowly, but expressively. Show the poem via a projector or on a poster while you read it so the children can follow along with the words.
The adult still reads the poem out loud first. But then, everyone joins in on repeated reading to read the poem in unison. Once the children have heard this poem read aloud, they usually enjoy joining in. You can adapt this approach with “echo” reading of some poems, in which children repeat lines after you read each one, echoing your reading.
For more details, get your copy of The Poetry Teacher’s Book of Lists.And if you already have the book and would like to offer additions, corrections, or other input, please do so in the COMMENTS area. Thanks!