Teaching poetry with I Spy books sparks kids’ imaginations. It’s fun, easy, and active. After a little instruction on verse, stanza, rhythm, and rhyme, students are ready to create their own I Spy pages. You can display them in the hall, share them with younger students, and/or bind them into books.
Teaching Poetry, Prose, and Drama
Third, fourth, and fifth grade students need to understand the structure of poetry, prose and drama. Why limit this unit to literary structure? I like to throw in a little writing. During the first week, my class tries just a bit of poetry. This is where the I Spy project comes in.
I break out a set of I Spy books, and we set to work.
Analyzing I Spy Books
First we analyze some poetry. The simplicity of I Spy is perfect for beginners. The first verse for every picture begins with “I spy.” Each poem has four verses divided into two stanzas. Pairs of verses rhyme, so it’s written as couplets. Every verse has four beats.
My students clap out the beat with me to get the hang of it. They practice on their own with additional poems.
Setting the Stage
A little hype never hurts! This year I presented an invitation to create I Spy poetry with a bulletin board. One of my books, I Spy Fantasy, was getting a little ragged, so – what the heck – I decided to cut it up and make a display! The vibrant pictures really popped. (You can create large letters and text in circles using PowerPoint. Simply insert a circle, choose the color you like, and add a text box on top of the circle.)
I sent home a note asking each child to bring their I Spy items.
When the day arrived, some students forgot their items. No problem! I just gave them a bag and asked them to find items around the room for their pictures.
Creating the Pages – Here’s How I Did It
Click here for note to parents and lesson plans.
Enjoy teaching poetry!