April is National Poetry Month. April brings Earth Day, too! In spring, our lesson plans usually turn to life science, new life, plant life, seasons and other such activities. In many classrooms, from preschool to kindergarten and up through 8th grade, lessons are focused on the sun, clouds, rain, precipitation, the water cycle, budding trees, plants and flowers, insects and baby animals. Here’s a green project. You can easily combine a unit on poetry reading and writing with your spring life science lessons.
Here is a lesson plan for poetry writing that students of all ages seem to enjoy. It links nicely with science and art as well. In Montessori we simple called these poems Shape Poems. I might change the name to Mosaic Poems. Here’s how to design and write a Mosaic poem.
Explore some excellent nature poems by reading aloud some of these authors: Emily Dickinson, William Carlos Williams (Dawn) Kahlil Gibran (from Sand and Foam, Tears and Laughter, The Prophet) John Ciardi, Robert Frost (Stopping by a Wood on a Snowy Evening, The Road Not Taken), Alfred, Lord Tennyson (Flower in the Crannied Wall) e.e.cummings (In Just-spring) Edna St. Vincent Millay
A mosaic in art is a image made from smaller shapes filled in with blocks of color to form a larger image. The most elaborate mosaics, such as the Turkish floor mosaics are filled in with colored glass, stones our even gems. In a mosaic poem, you first select some objects or elements of nature and draw the objects in simple outline. For an Earth Day spring poem, you might include:
the sun: hot star, fire light, glowing golden orb, light and life
flower: pushing, blooming, fighting her way through the dirt, opening to the sun
tree: stout, life-giving, brave, weather worn
cloud: blessing of water, moody
butterfly: little fluttering rainbows, drinking in nectar
rain: tears of God, washes away sorrow
rainbow: promise, joyful light
robin: busy nest-maker, nosey, chatty
Next write some descriptive phrases, lines, verses or words about each element in your design. See above list for ideas.
You can design your mosaic poem in several ways:
-Write your ideas inside each object in your picture.
-Write the poem along the outside edge of each object
-Use the words of your poetry to form each object. With your poem or words about the sun, create a circle. Use individual words for the sun’s rays. Create raindrops from single words about the rain.
Using colored pencils, write the poems in the colors of each object: blue rain, rainbow (ROY G BIV-red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo,violet) sun -yellow, grass-shades of green, etc.
Rejoice in this new spring, Earth Day and let the poems flow! May your spring be ‘puddle-wonderful’ (e.e.cummings)