Thank you for your encouragement yesterday. Once that Mary Jo Fresch and I got warmed up, with Kim Bernard’s able guidance we flew straight through the webinar. I think the final time was eighteen minutes so we were about where we wanted to be. I believe that the finished result will be posted today on the Shell Education site.
LEARNING THROUGH POETRY is the series of books that we wrote for PreK-2 students to help them develop the connection between the sounds they hear and the words they see. Phonemic awareness is an important indicator of a child’s readiness to read.
For each of the 96 poems in the series I began with a basic sound (phoneme), such as a short vowel, a blended sound, long vowel, digraph, or consonant. I made a list of words that contained the same sound that I wanted to write about. Then I worked them around in various ways until the thread of an idea became apparent.
The final poem, in each case, features as many of the subject sounds as I could work in while also writing a legitimate poem in the process. It was a challenge but one that I rather enjoyed.
Here’s an example. The sound was the blend GR.
David L. Harrison
Gruff old grandpa grizzlies growl
Grimly when they eat.
With grabby claws
They fill their paws
With veggies, fruit, and meat.
Grandma grizzlies’ “grrrs” are sweet,
Their love to spoil their cubs
With grasshopper grits,
And gruel with greasy grubs.
We think gruel with grubs is gross
But grand-cub grizzlies slurp it,
They grin and groan,
Grunt and moan,
And roll their eyes and burp it.
Mary Jo used her special skills and talents to create classroom activities that teachers can follow to reinforce the subject sound in fun, useful ways. She managed to find all sorts of connections to common core standards and core subjects. What originally began as an idea for one book grew over time into the series of five titles.
Our publisher flew us to California where we spent a laughter-filled day recording all the poems so that each of the books contains a CD of our voices reading the poems in that volume.
If you know someone who should know about this series, I hope you’ll pass along the information, you can open http://shelleducation.com and search for LEARNING THROUGH POETRY.