Some young readers aren’t as confident as others, yet shared reading is a great way to boost confidence and increase reading success among your students. Read poems as a fun shared reading strategy to teach poetry and all forms of literacy to engage students!
Why You Should Use Shared Reading to Teach Poetry
Shared reading is a wonderful way to improve poetry and reading fluency. It can boost student confidence and support success as they work through complex skills.
What is shared reading? Shared reading occurs when a group of students reads and analyzes the same text together. This often occurs in a classroom setting, either as a whole group or in small intervention groups.
Shared Reading Strategies When Teaching Poetry
If you have never used shared reading, you might consider using it with your poetry units for a few simple reasons.
- First, students who struggle to read will appreciate shared reading, where they can listen or follow along more easily.
- Secondly, shared reading supports sight word fluency as well as reading fluency.
- Additionally, shared reading allows students to read materials they may not be able to read independently.
- Last, it provides students with support to feel successful.
Use a Weekly Poem in a Shared Reading Format
One way to introduce students to shared reading and poetry is to provide students with a poem of the week that they can focus on. Instead of reading a poem, talking about it, and then moving on, stick with one poem for a few days to dive into it more deeply.
With a poem of the week, you can analyze different aspects of it each time you revisit it. For example,
- On day one, you might read the poem and point out any interesting words you notice.
- On day two, have the class define vocabulary words or find sight words within the text.
- Day three, identify rhyming words or talk about poetry characteristics.
By breaking the poem down into multiple days, students will digest the information better, and their reading fluency will improve. Kids will also love the consistency of a new poem each week to work on literacy skills.
12 Shared Reading Poetry Activities You Will Love
Poetry activities are everywhere! Many great ideas for whole groups, small groups, and independent activities revolve around poems to improve literacy.
As a class, work on a poem of the week that encourages students to dive deeper into a piece of text each day.
Try some of these helpful shared reading and poetry ideas in your classroom!
Whole Group Activities
- Poem Features – Use posters to illustrate and describe important features of poems as you work on them.
- Student Leader – Students love having a job, so give one student the task of reading the poem or pointing out key features in the text. Rotate this leader daily or weekly based on your needs.
- Find Rhyming Words – Read through the poetry materials and find rhyming words throughout. Make a list on the board or have students write down the words they find. This can also be done as an independent activity, and then students can share out what they found.
- Fill in the Missing Words – Place the poem on pocket chart strips and cover words in an anchor chart. Ask students to find missing words to complete the sentences and rhymes.
Small Group Activities
- Poetry Structure – Have kids work on the poem in small groups and identify key parts, rhyming words, and new vocabulary. Discuss important words and parts of poems they will see as more complex poems come up.
- Vocabulary Cards – Point out new and important vocabulary words in the text and work with those words during intervention times. Display these in pocket charts for them to refer back to.
- Put the Poem Together – Use sentence strips with the poem written on them and put the poem back together to help with reading fluency. This can be a cut-and-paste activity or cards that get reused in different small groups.
- Poetry Notebooks – Provide students with a copy of the poems in a poetry notebook to read with a partner or follow along in small groups. Kids love looking back at what they have written throughout the year and eventually sharing it with their families.
- Poetry Writing – Invite students to use their imagination and write their own pieces of poetry to share with others. They can write from scratch, or you can give them a few words to draw from.
- Visualize & Draw a Poem – Once students read a poem, give them paper and a pencil to draw what they saw in their minds. After each child is done, compare the results and see how different each visualization is.
- Rewrite the Poem – After reading a poem, have students rewrite it in their own words. Encourage them to use words that are similar to what they saw. These might be synonyms or words that reflect the same meaning.
- Poetry Mats – After kids are familiar with a poem, they can complete an activity page independently to help them continue to build fluency. These mats are perfect for accountability and practicing writing skills.
Social Emotional Poem of the Week
Can you tell I love using a poem of the week? A social-emotional poem of the week is the perfect way to discuss literacy terms and work on social-emotional skills.
I created interactive SEL poems of the week that students will love to learn in the classroom. 24 original poems touch on important social-emotional topics students encounter in the classroom each day. Use these to build on reading, writing, and comprehension as you read through them each week.
Your students will love these engaging shared reading and poetry activities in the classroom. You will see their confidence soar as they work on important social-emotional skills while mastering reading fluency.
Fun Resources to Help You Teach Poetry
Try FREE SEL Empathy Poem and Activities in your classroom with this resource!
Click the image below to grab a copy.
Social Emotional Learning Poems & Activities
Try the Social-Emotional Poems and Activities by Proud to be Primary. It includes printable poems, sentence strips, fill-in-the-blank activities, tasks to work on sight words and rhyming, places to illustrate the meaning of poems, and comprehension questions for each poem.
More SEL & Literacy Ideas
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