5th graders are at that age where they don’t always want to read what you put in front of them. However, poetry for 5th graders can be so much fun if you find the right pieces and teach them the right way. Here are seven helpful tips for teaching poetry to 5th graders that will encourage them to love reading and writing poems. Continue reading to see how you can include these practices in your classroom.
Use Poems that Students Can Relate to
Use poems they can relate to keep students from turning their noses up at poetry in the classroom. Shel Silverstein has many excellent poems that draw students in because they understand where the narrator is coming from. Students will love his poem “Sick”! They will also love “Sarah Cynthia Silvia Stout Would Not Take the Garbage Out.” Both are full of whimsical and funny excerpts that students have experienced each day. Find fun poetry for 5th graders in books like National Geographic Children’s Book of Nature Poetry: More than 200 Poems With Photographs That Float, Zoom, and Bloom!
Read Poems Aloud Multiple Times
Reading a poem once is great, but reading it over and over will allow students to hear or notice things they hadn’t listened to the time before. Try choral reading the poems and let students try their hand at reading. Focus on one poem a week a read each day so students can dive into the text, figurative language, and overall meaning of the poem. Let them read the poems silently or with partners for even more exposure.
Introduce a Poetry Corner in the Classroom
Set up a poetry corner in the classroom where students can showcase their poetry and poems they enjoy. Use sticky notes or fun stickers to highlight the great use of figurative language in the poems. As you read more and more poems, invite the kids to point out what they notice and showcase these in the poetry corner as well. This is also an excellent place for students to write poetry when inspiration sparks. Provide a seat, table, and writing paper if you have the space.
Teach Figurative Language with Poetry for 5th Graders
Figurative language includes similes, metaphors, onomatopoeia, alliteration, and idioms. While some poetry is surface level, many creative pieces of work use these pieces of language to get the reader thinking critically. Create anchor charts and posters to show students what figurative language looks like and how they can notice it in the poems they read.
Allow Students to Write Their Own Poetry
Writing poetry is an excellent way for students to learn about poetry. After reading several pieces, invite students to create their own poems. Give them examples and prompts if needed, but let them use other own creativity and see where it takes them. Writing poetry is an excellent activity for free writing time or independent times when they have finished other work.
My Poetry Writing Unit show students how to write their fun poems using several different styles. Use poetry posters, poems, examples, questions, and graphic organizers to get them started! I hope this post about poetry for 5th graders was helpful!!
Get Excited and Animated While Teaching Poetry
While you read poetry, use an excited and animated voice to match the poem’s tone. Read the poem ahead of time, so you know how to present it to your class. The more excited and animated you are, the more excited students will be to dive into their poetry. On the other hand, don’t make them fall asleep at their desks. Poetry for 5th graders should be exciting and relatable.
Let Students Share Their Poetry
The best part about writing poetry for 5th graders is sharing. Students love hearing what their peers come up with and showing off their creations. Invite them to share multiple times a week if they wish, and encourage them to give constructive criticism to their peers. Use a morning meeting time to do this. Kids will look forward to the sharing time.
Using these fun tips and the fun Poetry Writing Unit for 5th graders will help your students learn to love poetry. Before you know it, they will be reading and writing poetry for fun!