On April 6th, third graders at The Learning Center Charter School held their own Poetry Lounge. Modeled after poetry readings where an open mic is available for anyone wanting to share original or dramatic readings of poems, the class enthusiastically enjoyed the event.
Students were given the option of performing a poem that they wrote themselves or read a poem of their choosing. Topics ranged from wolves to dirt bikes, love poems, poems about video games, and concrete poems.
Third grade teacher, Kathleen Shook, introduced the Poetry Lounge idea as a way to reinforce lessons learned in language arts. However, she found ways to incorporate poetry both in math and art class. Plus, students got valuable practice in listening skills while their peers performed.
True to standard poetry reading etiquette, the class ended each performance with the classic “snapping” applause. The piece receiving the most “snaps” was probably Shel Silverstein’s self-performed version of “The Crocodile’s Toothache.”
Shook said, “Poetry is magical in that it has the power to make even the most reluctant reader become interested in reading. The sing-song beats and humorous themes turn words into games instead of work.”