Mme G.C. -Work in Progress

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October 2014

Top Ten Reasons to Use Poetry as Mentor Texts


Poetry Mentor Texts Making Reading and Writing Connections, k-8 untitled

By Lynne R. Dorfman and Rose Cappelli

  1. Children love the sound of language and the chance to read, recite and perform poetry.
  2. Poetry can help us see differently, understand ourselves and others, and validate our passions and human experience.
  3. Poetry easily finds a home in all areas of the curriculum and can bridge the reading/writing workshop.
  4. Poetry is the great equalizer-a genre especially suited to the struggling unmotivated reader/writer.
  5. Poetry enhances thinking skills and promotes personal connections.
  6. Reading poems aloud captures the ear, imagination and soul of the listener.
  7. The playfulness of language and the ability of words to hold us captive with their intensity, beauty and genius are particularly apparent in poetry.
  8. A poet helps us see things in new ways and help us talk and write about ordinary things in ordinary ways. That’s the essence of good writing.
  9. Poetry helps broaden the children’s experiences and what they are able to write about.
  10. Poetry can be the voice that names the event we live through by helping us make sense of them and write about them.

Dorfman and Cappelli      Stenhouse 2012

I really like the way this book is laid out. Dorfman and Capelli have made it so easy for teachers to succeed. Each chapter is laid out with examples, mini lessons. The reading writing connection is very clearly explained. Some of the lessons included are list poems, acrostic and persona. They have given great book ideas. This book would be a fabulous tool for teachers who are trying to get away from teaching poetry in isolation to teaching it all year long.



Reading Notebooks in Any Grade

I love the idea of kids having a Reading Notebook for the year. In it they can keep track of their reflections and progress over the year. Aimee Buckner’s book Notebook connections (Stenhouse 2009) gives many ideas as to how to start and work through the process.

Even young children can add their sticky notes to their notebooks and collect their reflections, as well as add mind maps and drawings to the notebook. Conferring with the teacher and parents will make it very useful.

The Reading notebook process teaches students to be reflective, when supported by the teacher, and moves them into metacognition with the teaching of comprehension strategies.

Amy focuses on reading “like a writer” and provide rubrics to assist the teacher. I suggest reading the book to get started, but plan for every child to start the year with a reading notebook!


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