Unit Lessons

PYP Theme: How We Express Ourselves

BiblioGarden PYP Librarian Beanstalk LogoPoetry: Unit Overview

Take your students on a journey of discovery as they encounter and explore poetry that is both famous and fun!  The unit begins with a tuning-in lesson, the big idea being that poetry is “painting with words.”  Move on to silly, word-play poetry from Shel Silverstein, story poems, and poems so enticing that they were turned into musicals and brought to the stage.  Finally, let your students perform poetry with poems written for two voices.  These lessons reinforce work being done in the classroom while highlighting the poetry collection and exposing your students to a new form of literature.


Poetry #1: Painting with Words, An Introduction to Poetry

Lesson Overview: In this lesson, students learn what poetry is and that poetry is meant to evoke emotion.  They also learn where to find the library’s poetry collection.  Classroom teachers typically take a more traditional approach to poetry through its forms, number of syllables, rhyme, or structure.  I usually teach… Read more

Betty Turpin

Poetry #2: Runny Babbit, by Shel Silverstein

Lesson Overview: Runny Babbit by Shel Silverstein will crack even the toughest reluctant reader.  Kids see each poem as a funny puzzle, a hilarious challenge that will draw them out and have them playing with words faster than you can say “Runny Babbit.”  I’ve used Mr. Silverstein’s Runny Babbit in… Read more

Betty Turpin

Poetry #3: The Magic Paintbrush, Story Poems

Lesson Overview: In this lesson, children are introduced to story poems.  Story poems are longer poems that tell a story, complete with characters, a plot, and hopefully a happy ending.  Their form varies, but for elementary students the important thing is that the children recognize rhyme, meter, purposeful word choice,… Read more

Betty Turpin

Poetry #4: Cats and T. S. Eliot

Lesson Overview: In this lesson, students learn how poetry has inspired other works of art.  Using T.S. Eliot’s Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats and a few video clips, students will understand how poetry has the power to inspire not only common people, but writers, musicians, costumer designers, engineers, and… Read more

Betty Turpin

Poetry #5: Mary Ann Hoberman’s Poetry for Two

Lesson Overview: In this lesson, students read and perform poetry with a partner.  Using the brilliant work of Mary Ann Hoberman, poetry is interactive, fun, and engaging.  You can use this lesson with very little preparation except a few color copies and have the kids begging for more!  When poetry… Read more

Betty Turpin