Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Montessori Language Arts: Poetry Activities for the Summer Time

NAMC montessori language arts poetry activities summer time girls writing
Poetry can be an indispensable tool in your Montessori teaching tool box. I have found that Montessori students of all ages can enjoy poetry. It is not as intimidating as other forms of creative writing such as short stories and plays. Poetry can be used as a way to fill an unexpected block of time, a transition activity, an activity to get the day started, or a way to culminate a thematic study.

Once you have introduced a style of poetry (ex. haiku, acrostic, or cinquain), you simply need to write a reminder of the format (or hang a poster) where all students can see and they are off and running. It quickly becomes an independent activity.

Writing poems as a group can also be fun. In addition to creative writing skills, the process can help develop
your Montessori students’ ability to work in a group. Songwriting, a cousin to poetry, can also be a truly enjoyable group experience. Maybe a parent or local songwriter could spend a morning writing a song with your students. I've had Montessori parents who helped my students write a song (which happened to be about the upcoming summer) and then recorded them singing the song and distributed it to every student on CD.

Montessori Language Arts: Poetry Activities for the Summer Time

The end of the school year can be an emotional time for students. Some Montessori students might be apprehensive about the change in routine, not seeing their friends, or not returning to the same classroom the following year. Some students might not be returning to your Montessori school. Often students are also feeling overly exuberant with excitement for the summer. Some poetry exercises can help with these fears of transition and enthusiasm for summer. If your Montessori classes are finished for the school year, perhaps you can coordinate some of the following ideas through email communication with your students this summer.

As a group, read some poetry together that is either about school related topics or is in the format you are introducing or both. Brainstorm as a group some ideas for poem topics and maybe even write a poem or two collaboratively. Some students might want to focus on the fun experiences they will have this summer. Some students might want to concentrate on their favorite experiences from the school year. Finally, encourage your students to write poems on their own and if willing, share with their Montessori classmates. A day of poetry can be a nice break from the normal routine during the final week of school.

Poetry is an approachable writing style that allows your Montessori students to positively express themselves anytime, from anywhere.

Poetry Books for the Montessori Classroom
  • If You're Not Here, Please Raise Your Hand: Poems About School, by Kalli Dakos and G. Brian Karas.
  • The Random House Book of Poetry for Children, by Jack Prelutsky and Arnold Lobel.
  • Poetry Matters: Writing a Poem from the Inside Out, by Ralph Fletcher.
  • Poetry Speaks to Children, by Elise Paschen, Dominique Raccah, Wendy Rasmussen, and Judy Love.
  • Pizza, Pigs, and Poetry: How to Write a Poem, by Jack Prelutsky.
  • A Child's Introduction to Poetry: Listen While You Learn About the Magic Words That Have Moved Mountains, Won Battles, and Made Us Laugh and Cry, by Michael Driscoll and Meredith Hamilton.
  • Knock at a Star: A Child's Introduction to Poetry, by X.J. Kennedy, Dorothy M. Kennedy, and Karen Lee Baker.
As much as possible, NAMC’s web blog reflects the Montessori curriculum as provided in its teacher training programs. We realize and respect that Montessori schools are unique and may vary their schedules and offerings in accordance with the needs of their individual communities. We hope that our readers will find our articles useful and inspiring as a contribution to the global Montessori community.
© North American Montessori Center - originally posted in its entirety at Montessori Teacher Training on Wednesday, June 30, 2010.


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