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Poetry Read


Full Member
My third graders absolutley love poetry. They have memorized several of Bruce Lansky's poems and ASK to recite them during transitions. We had sign-ups for two weeks for them to take turns sharing their favorite poems. I was thinking that this would be a great way to involve parents by having a poetry night. Most of my parents work so we couldn't do it during the day. Has anyone ever done anything like this? I thought that individual students could memorize and recite poems and small groups of students could also recite poems. Then we could also perform the poems they've memorized with body motions as a class. Any suggestions??? Thanks!


Senior Member
poetry reading

i did one last year....only we had "published" about 11-13 of the poems they had written in their own "books", and they read 3 or 4 of them aloud. i had a poetry reading in the daytime (so all kids could participate) and one in the evening for those whose parents would return them and for the parents who couldn't come in the day. got pretty good attendance overall...perhaps 70% of parents/or some family member. we really talked it up and i sent multiple reminders home. we also had refreshments.


Senior Member
How about a Poetry Slam

In the style of Beatniks and coffee houses in the fifties. I used to do this with my fifth graders. I would dim the lights, put a floor lamp and a stool in the front of the room and have the reader sit there. They could read a poem found in a book or recite one they had written themselves. I also had them explain at the beginning, why they choose their poems, or what inspired them to write it. I'll never forget one little boy who said that he had chosen his poem because,"Sometimes my momma cries because she is lonely." At the end of the poem the kids would snap their fingers instead of clapping. They loved it! Once it really got going we invited others to come in and share their favorite poems, the Principal, the secretary, parents. It was a lot of fun. I have a really terrific class this year so I think I will do it again this year.


New Member
Coffee House Poetry Day

I have done a Coffe House Poetry reading with my students and it is hugely successful. We work on different types of poetry until Christmas and then send the poems and illustrations off to a publishing company to have them made into individual bound hard back books.
Then we organize a reading where I set up my room to look like a Coffee House. Students wear beret's, there are white lights hung above the reader, the lights are dim, parents are sitting at tables (desks pushed together) that have table clothes, coffee and hot chocolate are served, jazz music is playing lightly in the background, and everyone snaps instead of clapping after a poem is read. It is awesome. Parents say it's wonderful. I really enjoy it too! Parents then take home the books that their child has published.
I got this idea from the book: Reading with Meaning.


Full Member
My take

Last year I did poetry reading with my class. It was great!! I did not have the kids memorize the poems though. They read them. This was a great fluency practice for them. They had to practice a lot. Then we decorated the room like a coffee house. We served cappucino and pastries. The kids made a cute take home craft with their picture on it for their parent too.:cool:

Brooke S.

Senior Member
Poetry Slam

I just did a Poetry Slam this week. I did it for the first time last year. My kids love it. I teach 2nd grade. I hung black paper across the room for the back drop. Then I set up a table (train table, very sturdy) as my stage. The students stood on it and used a microphone to talk. I had a lamp shining on them as a spotlight and also one shining on an easel that held their poster to represent the poem. They chose to do either a poem they wrote or one from a book. We turned the lights off and I set up a disco and mirror ball in the room. All of the audience snapped instead of clapped, it was really neat. They had a choice to either wear a costume or do a poster to represent the poem. Extra credit for both. It was fun.