Reading Skills Through Rhymes, Part II - More activities to integrate reading in a meaningful and natural way with poems by reinforcing phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, and vocabulary using some of the activities below:

How Did You Know That?  - Ask children this question frequently when you come to new words.  When children who know the word "think out loud," they are helping their classmates discover strategies that they can use to read unknown words.

Predicting - Before reading a poem, encourage children to look at the title or illustrations and predict what the poem might be about.

Left to Right - Track the words in a poem from left to right as you read it to your students.  Have them track print as they reread poetry.  Where is the beginning of the line?  Where is the end?  What is the first word?  etc. 

Context - As you read poems, stop and leave out a word.  Can children supply the missing word?  Ask "How did you know that?"

Punctuation - Ask children to identify punctuation marks in poems.

Read with and without punctuation to see how the poem sounds.

High Frequency Words -Point out high frequency words in poems that are on your word wall.  Pass out flash cards of these words to children and challenge them to match flash cards up with words in the poem.

Cut a 1" x 3" rectangle out of the middle of a plastic fly swatter.  Have children use it to "frame" high frequency words in poems your are studying.

Give children highlighters and challenge them to find words in individual copies of poems you have prepared for them (or in their Personal Poetry Books).

Word Study - Select words from poems and identify the root word.  Is there a prefix, suffix, or other ending? 

Parts of Speech - Have children identify verbs, nouns, and other parts of speech in poems. 

Vocabulary - As you come to an unfamiliar word in poems or songs, ask children what they think the words mean.  Demonstrate how to look up the meanings in a dictionary.   Invite children to use these words in other sentences.

Sparkle Words - Sparkle words (adjectives and adverbs) add "color" and interest to poems.  Challenge children to find "sparkle words" in poems.  Write these words with glue and sprinkle with glitter.  Encourage children to add these "sparkle words" to their own creative writing.

Comprehension - After reading a poem, ask appropriate questions that will develop comprehension skills.  Is there a main character?  What was the setting?  When did the poem take place?  What happened at the beginning?  Middle?  End?  Was there a problem or solution?  What will happen next?  What was the main idea? 

Genres of Literature - Help children recognize different types of literature through poetry.  Could the poem really happen or is it pretend?   Is the poem humorous or serious?  Does it tell a story (narrative) or is it just a rhyme (lyric)?

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