Hi and welcome back to Attentionology for K – 5 Teachers!
Think about it…better still…catch your students’ attention by asking them to think about it, about this…every season and every holiday has its own special symbols and patterns.
Where I live, for example, bright red and gold maple tree leaves,
like you see in my blog pic here, are a colorful symbol of autumn.
The distinct shape of each maple leaf forms its own pattern.
Challenging kids to discover and recognize different patterns helps them develop visual literacy, an important skill in the world today.
One of the best places I can think of to access...in-person or online…a wonderful variety of seasonal and holiday patterns to share with your students is…your favorite craft store!
Craft stores offer a bonanza of colorful scrapbooking papers, including some for Halloween like you see in my
blog pic here.
Choose a season or holiday; buy a variety of patterned paper with that season’s or holiday’s symbols for students to use at a Patterned Paper Poem Party you’ll host in your classroom.
Delight your class with this attention-grabbing trick…
PICK A PATTERN – WRITE A PATTERN POEM!
Each child gets to choose a piece of patterned paper and write rhymes about the seasonal or holiday symbols in the pattern.
Encourage children in grades 1 – 2 to write rhyme word pairs like spooky, kooky/black cat.
Invite students in grades 3 – 5 to write more and longer lines with rhyme.
Note: Craft paper is somewhat expensive so you may want to cut large pieces into smaller sections before kids choose paper for their poems.
Use craft paper patterns that are age-appropriate for your class. As you can see, the Halloween paper in my blog pic above has eleven different patterns – a lot! This paper is appropriately challenging for older elementary school students.
If you work with younger kids, I suggest that you select seasonal or holiday paper with fewer patterns.
How to start your Patterned Paper Poem Party:
1) Introduce the activity by explaining to the class that patterns are all around us, on the clothes we wear, on the floors we walk in school, in the light blue lines of notebook paper we write on, in the poems we write with rhyme.
2) Invite students to point out patterns they see during your discussion, all to reinforce the concept that patterns are an important part of our lives. (Optional for later discussion with older elementary school students – behaviors have patterns, too. For example, kids that stay focused and on task in class follow a positive behavior pattern.)
3) Continue your conversation by noting that every season and holiday has its own symbols and patterns, too. Offer examples; black cats and candy corn are symbols of Halloween.
4) Hold up the seasonal or holiday papers you’ve selected for your class (may well be post-Halloween). Ask your students to call out what patterns they see.
5) Announce that each kid will be invited to choose a piece of patterned paper to take to his/her desk or table and write a poem about the symbols in the pattern.
Below is a rhyming poem based on the patterned paper with the Halloween theme in my blog pic above. Notice how the writing matches the art work, line by line.
If it helps you, print this poem to read aloud to your class (all or part of it, depending on your grade level) while holding up similar Halloween paper of your own (or enlarge and print my blog pic above, if you can).
Ask the class to listen for words that match the paper pattern and for the rhyming pattern of the poem. The first and fourth lines of each stanza rhyme with each other.
In Line with Halloween
Whenever it’s time for Halloween
Dancing spiders, sparkling stars
Shine under a crescent moon,
Making a showy, spooky scene.
Who’s hiding in the haunted homes,
Some rooms dark, the doorways lit?
Is it six flying bats or is it one
Unseen witch stirring new soup bones?
Spider webs tell a writing spider’s story,
Pumpkins wait for faces to be carved tonight,
Children shout trick or treat in costume,
Counting their candy in Halloween glory.
Ghosts and goblins run down the street
Slipping past sly, scary black cats,
Curved tails dancing to a Halloween rap.
It’s time to go home now; let’s eat!
PICK A PICTURE – WRITE A POEM – Engage your class in poetry writing with other visual cues, like a painting. My blog pic below
is of a watercolor I painted last spring of wisteria hanging from a lush green tree.
I drafted a Haiku poem (three lines – five syllables in the first line, seven in the second and five in the third line – English structure for Haiku poetry writing) to pair with the picture.
I wrote the finished poem in black ink in the lower left corner of the finished painting.
Like lovely long locks of curls
Bold lady of spring
Ask students to bring a favorite picture to class. Post the collection on a board with a header that reads Pick a Picture – Write a Poem! and let students paint with words. Magic!
Remember, you don’t need to be a magician to work magic in any instructional setting!
Talk with you again soon,
Barbara ♥ The Lovable Poet