Guest post by Christa Brown
I'm in love with thematic units. I love them so much that I don't use a curriculum. I can teach every subject through the themes and it has been proven to be highly successful for my crew! My 4 year old will always ask me, "What are we learning about today?" The kids love learning by thematic units just as much as I love planning for them. Since April is National Poetry Month we are doing all things poetry!
Poetry journals are very popular in classrooms today. We started them this year and the kids love them. At the beginning of the year I began them with my Kindergartener to work on sight words. I have now created my own word family poems for my second grader to go along with her phonics words.
Finding the right books to go along with your theme is a must! In fact, it's the first thing I do when I start planning. The two books I chose to read for this unit were, "Halibut and Hailstones" by Mary O'Neill and "Spring An Alphabet Acrostic" by Steven Schnur.
"Halibut and Hailstones" is a poetry book about color. So for a fun art project I had my kiddos chose their favorite color and use only that color to paint anything they wanted. I love to tie in visual art and writing. They both tell stories in different ways. It's important to show kids the connection between subjects so everything fits like a puzzle. It's easier to apply skills and to make connections in life when there is a flow in your lessons.
"Spring An Alphabet Acrostic" is a fun book written as an acrostic poem. We wrote our own acrostic poems about spring. After reading the book, every child wrote the word spring at the top of their page and drew pictures and/or wrote words of things that reminded them of spring. Then they used this graphic organizer to write their own acrostic poems.
We also cut out and painted the letters to make the word SPRING. After gluing them on construction paper we published our acrostic poems onto this project.
I've seen a lot of posts about poetry tea parties or poetry picnics. Because I love to get my kids excited about reading and literature, I knew a weekly poetry tea party was in order. Every Thursday this month we have been selecting a tea party treat and making it together. Then we all select a poem to be read at the tea party. This worked out so well that my second grader began writing her own poem at the tea table!
I hope a few of these ideas will inspire you to do a little poetry with your kids this month!
I'm a mother, educator, and writer who works with homeschooling families to create the best curriculum and lessons for their child. My focus is building a world of life-long learners with grit and creative energy. Learn more on my website and follow me on Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter! I've been married for 15 years to an amazing furniture builder and designer. We have three children ages 4, 6, and 8. I've been blessed to be able to stay at home and continue doing what I love at home: teaching and designing curriculum for active learners! It's my passion to get children excited about learning!