Tuesday, November 6, 2012

November Poem: Five Fat Turkeys

Today, we read a poem called Five Fat Turkeys, which the second graders read enthusiastically. They do not seem to get tired of reading poems together. Choral reading is such an empowering reading activity to struggling readers. Teachers sometimes forget that everyone gets something out of reading poems together...no matter what skill level. Good readers will enjoy the fun of the rhythm and rhyming. It is much like singing a song.  I like to think of it as another way of reading music. After reading this several times in different ways, we made thumbprint turkeys using stamp pads to illustrate the poem. Great fun and an activity that allows differentiation for students in grades K-2. Excellent opportunities for ESL students, too.

A Fun November Poem:

Five Fat Turkeys
Five fat turkeys are we.
We hid all night in a tree.
When the cook came around,
We couldn't be found!
And that's why we're here you see!
                                                   -Author Unknown

sentence strips or chart paper
stamp pads

Write the lines of the poem on sentence strips or chart paper.
If using strips, place in a wall pocket chart.
Write the rhyming pairs in matching colors so they stand out.

1. Choral read the poem.
Take turns reading together, dividing up lines among students.
Try different and fun ways to read this, pairing up students in creative ways.

2. Phonological awareness: Ask what word rhymes with tree? What word rhymes with found?

3. Print awareness: Bring attention to the uppercase letters at the beginning of each line, the contractions and apostrophes in the words, we're, that's, and couldn't. Discuss end marks such as periods, and exclamation point.

4. Comprehension check: What or who are the turkeys afraid of?
How do you know?

5. Art Activity:
Copy the poem onto a page for each student.
Leave space below for illustrations.
Set out stamp pads, markers, and colored pencils.
Ask the kids to draw a tree and make 5 thumb prints and details to make mini turkeys.

(The illustration is also an opportunity to show comprehension. Drawings should show relevance to the poem and the main idea that the turkeys are hiding from the cook.)

Extension: Together, create signing or pantomiming of the words. Learn the poem by heart and recite it with movements in front of an audience (parents, classmates).