Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Poems for Two Voices

Usually my sixth grader (who is doing the 2nd grade Fables and Puppetry unit just for fun and to gently transition into the school year) struggles with her Main Lesson Book summaries. I've given her the tool Somebody Wanted But So (SWBS). I first heard about this at a workshop for students who have problems with executive functioning, but I think it is helpful for everyone who gets confused about the difference between retelling and summarizing. SWBS is a great way to get a brief, but not too brief, summary.

Somebody Wanted But So lesson plan and idea for easy graphic organizer

Leah has enjoyed this so much that her composing her summaries is no longer a tear-filled experience.

Sieglinde de Francesca gives the idea of have students write a poem as their summary of the fable in question. I tried this with "The Crow and the Pitcher" and Leah went right back to her retelling roots. Her poem is as long as the fable. Yesterday / Today we did "The Bear and the Bees".

I first asked her to retell the fable in her own words. Then we read several selections from Joyful Noise: Poems for Two Voices("Grasshoppers" p.3, "Water Striders" p.5).

This book inspired her retelling of the story... as a poem for two voices! (Sieglinde suggested doing two poems, one from the point of view of the bee and one from the point of view of the bear, but this worked out even better.)

Leah completed her work quick as a wink and was so pleased!!! Here is her poem, which she promptly asked a sister to help her perform. The voice on the left is the Bee and the voice on the right is the Bear. Lines which are side by side are read simultaneously. Hint: Click on the image to enlarge it.

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