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Thank you all for your input.  I really appreciated your prompt responses.  
You are all so helpful.  
I promised a HIT and here it is.  I hope this helps a few others as well.  
1]  What about using Love That Dog by Sharon Creech?  Or if you think that is too 
babyish, perhaps Heartbeat.

2]  I read Creech's Love That Dog, and have the students do two of the poetry 
activities that Jack does in the book.  I have them do a shape poem, then a "Love 
That _____" in the manner of Walter Dean Myers - as Jack does.

3]  I just finished up a collaborative lesson with my fifth grades. They are 
studying author's tools that poets use, and we spent one to two classes in the 
library searching through poetry books and anthologies for examples of these tools. 
Teachers followed up in the classrooms with a variety of projects... anthologies, 
posters, illustrations, etc. 
   The students had to find examples of alliteration, onamatopedia, simile, 
metaphor and personification.
4]  I had fun with lesson last week.  I read Poe's "The Raven". We talked about how 
difficult the language is and wondered why one would need to study something so 
hard.  I explained some of the references (like the definition of "bust of Pallas") 
 Then I turned on the lcd projector and booted up youtube.  There is a great parody 
of The Raven on the Simpsons.  They watched it and I could stop it and refer back 
to the original.  Warning:  the first time the raven says "Nevermore"  Bart says 
instead, "Eat my shorts"!  We talked about how they would not really understand the 
humor unless they were familiar with the original.  Then I read "The End of the 
Raven" by Edgar Allen Poe's Cat.  We talked about how you would have to understand 
the rhyme and meter to write the parody.  These are Title I ELL students.  They 
loved it.  I don't know how much they will take away, but I try to expose them to 
things like this on a regular basis. 

5]  How about performance poetry?  Brod Bagert does a fun lesson (he has several 
books) for kids to read or recite OUT LOUD with EXPRESSION!  
Our kids have fun with this.  We've even filmed them just for fun.
6]  I had some fun with a lesson earlier in the year.  Roughly, here it is:

1. Asked them what they thought poetry was...short, conveyed feelings, rhymed (or 
didn't).  Short but they had some nice ideas.   
2.  Showed them some poetry books and mentioned different types, they commented 
when it was familar, I read some (haiku, Robert Frost).  I mentioned Rap as poetry 
(well, sometimes!), shape poetry, Night Before Christmas.  
3.  Mentioned 811 - talked about finding the poetry section.
4.  Briefly talked about Shel Silverstein, showed books, showed website (great 
website) and played him reading 2 or 3 poems.
5. I had very nice, large prints from the art teacher.  I had them sit 5 to a 
table.  Each received a slip of paper with one of the five senses on it (Feel, 
smell etc) and it said something like "In this picture, I see.."
6.  I had them flip the slip of paper over and describe what they saw, 
their picture.  Our school is working on the writing process and we talked briefly 
about descriptive language.  
7. They ordered the 5 senses sentences so that it sounded good to the group.  I 
held up the picture as the table read their poem.  Some of the poems were very 
descriptive.  I wanted them to participate and not just feel that poetry was 
  This was a 1/2 hour lesson.  A very tight fit but it was all I had. 

Hope that helps.  

Pat Brown
Janney ES
Washington, DC 
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