Making Poetry Analysis Fun and Simple

Poetry can be meaningful and fun when you share it with students and work to think about what it all means!


It's April, which means it's National Poetry Month. Today I'm highlighting two books on the Virginia Readers' Choice lists. These two poetry books have very different types of poems that will enlighten students in various ways. Flutter and Hum / Aleteo y Zumbido: Animal Poems / Poemas de Animales can be found on the Primary List, and Wet Cement:  A Mix of Concrete Poems can be found on the Elementary List. {Affiliate links provided to fund future book purchases.} Both of the books are filled with fun poems that can be used with any age level.

Book Summaries

Flutter and Hum is full of short poems about animals. The poems describe various animals and how they act. Using many descriptive words, the author helps the reader see the animals beyond how they look and give reasons for their actions. For example, the author describes dog with "His wagging tail fans wild happiness into the wild world. The illustrations in the book also add to the poems' messages. Each picture has words about the animals scattered throughout. These illustrations help the reader see more clearly into the world of the animals.

Wet Cement features shape poems that take on a different life. Each poem is in a different shape that gives meaning to the poem. It actually took me several times to read some of the poems and understand how they had to be read. For example, the poem "Hopscotch" starts at the bottom, and I had to read up the page. 

Classroom Application

I used both of these books as part of my SOL review with the fifth graders. While reading Flutter and Hum to the students, we talked about main idea, mood, and figurative language of each poem. I was amazed at what the students said for each of the poems. Usually I get nothing out of the fifth graders, but they really dug deep into the meanings of the poems. Here are some examples of what they did with another poem after practicing with these poems.
Poetry can be meaningful and fun when you share it with students and work to think about what it all means!

With Wet Cement, they thought the poems were fun to read. They loved how the shapes of the poems helped the reader understand what was being said. My friend Melissa at Don't Let the Teacher Stay Up Late had her students write their own shape poems. They came up with some really great ideas for poems and brought the objects to life.

Another great resource I have that helps students analyze poetry (not write it) is my Poetry Analysis Activities. I have used them many times with various age groups, and they can be used with any poems. The activity above is featured in this packet. Click {here} or on the picture below.
 And if you want to give it a try, you can download a freebie by clicking {here} or on the picture below.
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Poetry can be meaningful and fun when you share it with students and work to think about what it all means!


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