We've only introduced the Daily Poem into the classroom in the last couple of weeks but it's really fired up the kids' enthusiasm for reading and performing poetry. There is a 'signing-up' sheet by the classroom door where they can put their names if they would like to share a poem they have chosen with the class the following week. We then free up a five-minute slot, usually straight after lunch, where they perform their poems. The only requirement is that the children agree to spend at least five minutes a day during the week before they perform practising their poems.
For the first week, it was modelled by the adults in the class. We talked about why we had chosen the poem and how we had practised it to help improve our performance. There was no time spent on analysing words, rhythm, structure or meaning; it was read (or recited), the class had a minute or two to talk about it with their friends, and then we moved on.
The sheet was left blank for week two. After a day or so, nobody had signed-up and I was starting to think the idea had flopped. During lunchtime, two girls came in and asked if they could perform a poem together. Hooray! They added their names to the list and went off giggling to practise their poem. In the middle of afternoon registration, one of the least confident readers signed-up, planning to read a poem that she had written herself (called The Witch And Her Cat). By the end of the following day, the sheet had been completely filled and the children were asking if we could have two Daily Poems so that they could all have a go.
After performing their poem, the children are then allowed to write the
name of the poem and the poet on one of the classroom windows using a
board pen (check this rubs off first!). It's another way to familiarise
them with the names of different poets (and they love the fact that it's a
So far we've had Michael Rosen (numerous times), Spike Milligan, Brian Moses, Valerie Bloom, Josh Seigal, Julia Donaldson and a couple of the kids' own poems. The sheet is currently full for the first week back after half-term and the kids have thoroughly enjoyed the experience. It's great to see them wandering around the playground with a book of poetry and it's helping to further raise the profile of poetry across the school. We've paired up with a Year Six class, and once a week the children go and perform to each other. We have also recorded some of the performances using Audioboom, adding them to the book blog so that any interested parents can have a listen.