July 5, 2011

The Poet Within

 I was looking over the new Common Core Reading Standards for Literacy for Grade 4 students when I found they would be expected to "Explain major differences between poems, drama, and prose, and refer to the structural elements of poems (e.g., verse, rhythm, meter) and drama (e.g., casts of characters settings, dialogue, stage directions) when writing or speaking about text."

I admit I am a new teacher and it has been a while since I was in AP English, but I had no idea what prose was. So I went online, read some articles, went to the library, and checked out books. Here are some of the great things I learned and discovered.

 Dictionary.com stated "the ordinary form of spoken or written language, without metrical structure, as distinguished from poetry or verse."  So in my own words, prose is normal writing. Why can't they just say that? 

A whole new beast. It involves so many different elements. You can look for verse, rhythm, meter, rhyme, repetition, alliteration, onomatopoeia, personification, irony, imagery, symbolism, simile, hyperbole, metaphor, oxymoron, assonance, and consonance. 
Those last two were a vague memory from high school so I looked them up. Assonance is the repetition of same or similar vowel sounds.  In my own words, assonance is vowel rhyming. An example of assonance is "fox in socks." Consonance is the repetition of the same consonant in a short period of time. An example is "black bugs bleed blue blood. Blue bugs bleed black blood." Doctor Seuss has several books that would be perfect treasure hunts for these poetry elements. 

Awesome books I found:
Days to Celebrate by Lee Bennett Hopkins
It is filled with monthly trivia, history, and poems. I want it in my own library.
Words, Wit, and Wonder Writing Your Own Poem by Nancy Loewn
Shows in kids friendly terms rhythm and rhyme, alliteration and similes and much more.
Poetry Matters by Ralph Fletcher
I liked this book because it teaches how to write a poem with feeling and not just to follow steps someone else has laid out. I would use this for a mini-lesson or read-aloud. I can see a young poet loving this book.
Immersed in Verse by Allan Wolf
Geared toward children who are middle school aged or older.  Great examples and illustrations.


  1. Wow! You've done your homework! Thanks for all the great book ideas!! I teach 4th as well:)

    4th Grade Frolics

  2. :) Thank you! I love knowing someone appreciates what I share.