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In November Pattern Poems

The leaves may have been falling, but poetry was in bloom among my first grade poets this week.  Each November, I kick off our new month with the book entitled In November by Cynthia Rylant.  It's a quick, yet powerful read that really paints a picture and appeals to all five of our senses.  The running text reads like a poem.  The illustrations by Jill Kastner paint a watercolor-like tour through the images, sounds and traditions that November brings.  Trees without arms spread their branches "like dancers."  Food in November is "better than any time of the year," and animals "sleep more."

Many of the pages begin with "In November..."  This was my inspiration to make pattern poems with my first graders that paint just as clear of a picture in our minds as does Cynthia Rylant.  Another inspiration for this product was this neat dollar store find of the stationary on which we published our poems.

Here's the directions for this writing workshop.
1.  I read aloud the book and had the children recall the images that the author and illustrator described as happening "In November."

2.  I asked children if they noticed any patterns about the way many of the pages began.  They were able to, right away, tell me that the words "In November" repeat.

3.  We discussed the meaning of the word "pattern" and applied it to the fact that a poem that starts the same way, repeatedly, is called a pattern poem.

4.  Students watched me model writing a few lines of my In November Poem.  I noted how I used the book for help and also was sure to come up with my own ideas, too.

5.  Students went to their desks to complete drafts of their poems.  The template was copied on white paper.  Grab your template here--free all November.  I had picture books about Thanksgiving, fall, etc. everywhere.

6.  We had writing conferences and edited accordingly.  Thank you to my editors for all your help.

7.  Students copied their final drafts onto the template printed on the fancy fall stationary.

8.  We had a celebration!  Students read aloud their poems sitting on the author throne.  Click here to read my post on making your own author throne.  It was a Mr. Giso's Room to Read Bright Idea (#3).

I'm really happy with the results!  I hope you will be too.  I'm please to announce that I have passed the "5 Star Blogger" challenge from the Organized Classroom Blog.  Check it out!  Best wishes to all my friends for a happy and healthy Thanksgiving week!  

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