I have always loved Shel Silverstein. My Nanny bought me Falling Up when I first moved to Va, and I was instantly in love. I would spend hours reading and re-reading his poems and staring at the illustrations. So when I found this unit online I jumped right on it.
What is amazing about how this unit is layed out, is that it is very easy to follow, and gives the teacher a lot of room to enhance, chance, and alter it’s parts. I did not do every activity with the kid, but I did use many of the writing prompts in class. Since I teach preschool the majority of my kids can not write, although some have started mimic writing so that is VERY exciting. Even so, these prompts encouraged and inspired the children to create amazing stories and poems. The way it works is that you read the poem of the day and talk about the parts of the poem. Does it rhyme, what is the poem talking about, what is the purpose of the poem, and so on. Then you practice rhyming and theme words. For example, we did poems about sound. What sounds do you hear now? What sounds do you hear at home? What sounds do you hear in a restuarant? Asking these questions helped the children think critically and creatively to come up with mimicking and descriptive words for the sounds they heard, and we made a list. Then from there we individually worked on our poems by using the list of words we had previously made. Some children were able to expand and create even more words for their poem, while others strictly used the list. Once they have chosen the words they would like to use, we then start to build the story. Where would you hear a sound like that? What would happen to make that sound? What makes that sound? And so on. From there the story just comes together. What is really amazing is that during this process the children will listen to their poems, and each others poems and hear things that rhyme and even restructure their stories so the rhymes fit. (this happened more than once and left me AMAZED) Here are a few examples of some of the poems they came up with. Enjoy!
A Magic Hat by Mahi
My Hat is Magic
My Hat is Blue
My Hat is Big!
My Hat is fast and it’s leaning too!
Lighting Bolt Jet Pack by Sam
There is a lighting bolt jet pack
I wear it on my back
The lighting bolts are red and blue
and they shoot lasers! Phew Phew Phew!
Arrrr my Mates! by Cameron
I forgot my treasure
I left it on my pirate ship
But it made me kinda happy
Because then it sailed away
It turned left and it turned right
Then I chased my ship!
And found my Treasure! Alright!
Allergies by Noah
Once I forgot there were nuts in my cake!
There was one pecan on top and I did not take it off
It made me really really sick
Sick like this, Cough, cough cough.