Making Your Poems or Book Interactive for School Visits and Readings

Last fall, I wondered how to make the poems in Stampede more interactive for readings with young kids. For either pre-readers who can’t read the entire poem up on a screen or for settings where there’s no screen available. I got some great ideas from you guys (thanks!) and did some brainstorming on my own.

I’ve been having lots of fun sharing Stampede (and other books) on school visits, and I thought I’d share a few of the methods I use. I think these could be adapted for any poetry book, rhyming picture book, or very short picture book (even if it doesn’t rhyme). These are nothing terribly new, but I was having a mental block about it, so maybe if you are too, you can try some of these on your next reading or school visit. Or if you’re a teacher or media specialist trying to get your kids more involved in poetry, you might give these a try.

Call and Response: This is where I simply call out the poem, one brief line at a time, and the kids repeat it back to me. One plus of this is that the kids get to hear me say the line with rhythm, enthusiasm, and intonation, so they’re really enthusiastic when it’s their turn. So it would look like this:

Me: From metal branch
Kids: From metal branch

Me: To metal vine

Kids: To metal vine

I have a colorful pointer I use to point at the crowd when it’s their turn.

Little Sir Echo: Here, I read a couple of lines of a poem and then, when I give the signal, the kids repeat the last two words I said, in rhythm. We review their words once ahead of time.

Me:  I’m jumping in puddles left after the rain.

The best ones are deep, dark, and BIG!
Kids: And big!

Act It Out: Here’s where I make up simple actions to go to some of the words in a poem. We review the actions that go with each word ahead of time. I have the poem on a screen (with all of these methods) with the action words in a difference color (whenever possible, I have the whole poem up for them to see, with whatever part they will read out loud in a bold color). If no screen is available, I have little signs I hold up (or a volunteer holds up) at the appropriate time. I read the entire poem, and the kids only join in on their special words/actions. I use the pointer and a big pause so they know their next word is coming up.

Me: I’m missing
Kids: THREE (holding up three fingers)
Me: teeth. There’s a scratch by my
Kids: EYE (pointing to their eye).
Me: I
Kids: TRIMMED (pretending to cut their bangs)
Me: my own bangs, and I cut
Kids: WAY TOO HIGH (raising their hand higher with each word)

The kids and I have lots of fun, and it becomes an activity we do together rather than just some dramatic reading by me, which I would find more nerve-wracking. So, these are a few ways I get them involved in the game. I’ll share more tomorrow. And, of course, I’d still love to hear your ideas. Always great to add new methods to the bag of tricks.

 
 

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 2,516 other subscribers

Are You Looking For?

Poetry Friday posts

Classroom Connections posts

All my poetryactions

Go to my Poetry page for:

  • National Poetry Month projects through the years
  • Small Reads Roundups (poems grouped by topic)
  • Introductions to several favorite poetry forms
Tags
#waterpoemproject15 Words or Less Poems20for2030 Painless Classroom Poems50 State Poemsacrosticsactivity pagesactivity sheetALAA Leaf Can Be...Amy Ludwig VanDerwaterA Need to FeedanthologiesanthologyA Rock Can Be...art projectsaudiopoemsawardsbad newsBarbara Juster EsbensenBilly Collinsbiopoemsblog tourbookalikesbook festivalsBookSpeak!book spine poemsbook trailersbop poembyr a thoddaidcafepresscalendar poemsCamp Read-a-LotCan Be... bookscan be... poemsCapstoneCarol Varsalonacascade poemsCatherine FlynnccbcCCRA.W.3CCRA.W.4CCRA.W.5centoschapter bookschoral compositionschristina rossetticinquainsCLAclassified ad poemsclassroom connectionclassroom connectionsClover Kittyconferences and conventionscrown sonnetscybilsdansaDare to DreamDavid Elliottdeeper wisdom poemdefinitosdiamantesdiversitydizaindodoitsuDot DayDouglas Floriandownloadablesdrum corpse.e. cummingsekphrastic poemsepistolary poemsequation poemsessentialethereeseventsexquisite corpseFairy Tale Garage Salefamilyfibonaccifiction picture booksfinding familyfirefightersforeign editionsfound poemsfree author zoomsfree versefrom studentsgeesegeorgia heardghazalGift Taggiveawaygolden shovelgoldilocksgratitudehaikuheart of aheart of a teacherHeidi MordhorstHelen FrostHighlightshow-to poemshow to make a rainbowI Am FromI Am poemsidiomsif you want to knit some mittensIf You Were the MoonILAimagepoemsinterviewin the middle of the nightIRAIrelandIrene LathamJ. Patrick LewisJanet WongJoyce SidmanKendraKerlanKidlit Comboslailaura's board booksLaura's booksLaura's poemsLaura's readingsLaura ShovanLee Bennett HopkinsLilian MoorelimericksLinda Booth SweeneyLine Leads the WayLion of the Skylist poemslittle free librarylive writingLullaby and Kisses Sweetlyricsmadness poetrymargaret simonMarilyn Singermary lee hahnmask poemsMeet My FamilyMelissa StewartMentors for Rentmentor textsmetaphorMichelle Myers LacknerMillbrookMinnesota Book Awardsmoneymoonmy reading lifemy writing processN+7naaninarrative poemsNational Poetry Month 2012 (haiku a day)National Poetry Month 2014 (riddle-ku)National Poetry Month 2015National Poetry Month 2016National Poetry Month 2017 (#wonderbreak)national poetry month 2018 (haiku a day)National Poetry Month 2020National Poetry Month 2021 (#EquationPoem)national poetry month 2022 (sticky-note poems)National Poetry Month 2023 (Digging for Poems)National Poetry Month 2024 (magnipoems)ncteNerdy Book Clubnifty newsnifty stuffNikki Grimesnonfictionnonfiction booksNonfiction Writers Dig Deepnovelsnovels in verseodesOne Minute Till BedtimeoppositifyOskar's VoyagepadletpantoumsparodiesPatreonpeacepersonalpet poemsphotopoetryphrase acrosticspicture booksplagiarismpoempicspoemspoems for two voicespoemsketchpoetic pursuitsPoetry 7poetryactionspoetry activitiesPoetry Blastpoetry booksPoetry FridayPoetry Friday AnthologiesPoetry Princessespoetry promptspoetry sistersPoetry Tips for Teachersprogressive poempublishing processpuddle songPutridquotationsraccontinosRandy Salasread-aloudreadaloudreading poetry in the classroomRebecca Kai Dotlichrecipe poemsrefugeesresearchreview copiesreviewsrevisionrhyming booksrhyming nonfictionrhyming picture booksRhyming Picture Books the Write Wayrhyming poemsRiddle-kuriddle poemsRock Can Be...Rock the Blogrondeau redoublesRudyard Kiplingsalas snippetsSCBWIschool visitsScotlandseasonssecrets of the loonSELsestinasshrinking daysskinnyskypeslice of lifesmall readssnack snooze skedaddlesnowman-coldsonnetsStampede!storm poemstorytimestorywalkstudent poemsstudent workSylvia VardellTanita Davistankatautogramteachableteacher resourcesteen/adult poemsterza rimasthankfulthank yous and referencesthe business sidethings to do iftracy nelson maurertrioletstunie munson-bensonvideosVikram MadanvillanellevillanellesWater Can Be...wealthy elementaryWe BelongWhat's InsideWhy-kuwinterwonderwonderbreakword of the yearwordplaywordsmithswork for hirewritingwriting bookswriting processwriting promptswriting the life poeticyoung authors conferencesYouTubeZapZap Clap Boomzenozentangle
Show More Show Less

Discover more from Laura Purdie Salas

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading

Join Laura's monthly newsletter for eductators

Get three of Laura's favorite poetry activities when you subscribe to "Small Reads."