Poetry Cafe at Lincoln Avenue
In the Lincoln Fifth-grade Poetry Café, April is the Coolest Month for Poetry
Celebrating National Poetry Month in April, the Fifth-grade students in Mrs. Moyer’s class at Lincoln Avenue first studied different forms of poetry, such as the Quatrain, cinquain, Haiku, tercet, couplets, and free verse in their reading workshops before writing their own original poems in writing workshops.
From examining the styles of famous poets, the students learned about different poetic devices: alliteration (the repetition of initial constant sounds), sensory images (words or images that create a picture by describing how something looks, tastes, smells, sounds, or feels), simile (comparison between two objects using the words like or as), personification (a figure of speech that gives animals, ideas or nonliving objects human traits or abilities), and repetition (repeating words or phrases to add rhythm to a poem). The unit ended with the students creating poetry books in which they published all the poems they had written in writing workshop and they also added two poems from favorite authors that they had studied in reading workshop.
To cap the celebration of Poetry Month, the students opened a Poetry Café. “Parents were invited for an afternoon of poetry sharing by the class,” Mrs. Moyer explained. “In honor of the beatnik culture of the 1950s and early 1960s that is often associated with poetry readings at coffee shops, students wore jeans and black t-shirts. Some also chose to wear sunglasses and berets.”
During the Poetry Café, student poets took the stage to read aloud some of the poems that they had written in class and one of their favorite poems from a famous poet. The class as a whole gathered to recite a funny poem by Shel Silverstein about all excuses that kids give to stay home from school. After the poetry readings, the students shared their poetry books with their special guests. They also shared their excitement for the unit’s culminating activity:
"The Poetry Café is something I will never forget and the poetry unit was such a fun and exciting experience" - Grace McCavanagh
"I was so, so, so excited the day of the Poetry Café. It was fun and I will never forget that day. I didn't know poetry could be so fun!" - Gianna Mirro
"The Poetry Café was very fun while also teaching us the poetic devices used in poetry" - Tim Zelinski
"It was fun learning all the different types of poems and hearing what friend's poems were like." - Olivia Schait
" The Poetry Café was so much fun. The food was great. We learned a lot of different styles of poetry." -Joe Handler
The consensus was unanimous; the students and their families thought “the Poetry Cafe was a great way to celebrate student writing!”