How to Enhance Word Work Using Focus Poetry

Updated: Jul 16


What is Focus Poetry?

Using Focus Poetry as a daily part of your literacy instruction can benefit your students in many ways. Focus Poetry as a daily shared experience can supplement word wall and add to your weekly word work routine. ​​

Focus Poetry is a 5-10 minute part of your day in which students revisit a short poem daily with the intent to build vocabulary, develop comprehension, broaden knowledge of the concepts of language and help students build fluency.

Focus Poetry is an opportunity for all students to participate in literacy activities with minimal risk no matter their level.

This literacy instructional strategy will expose students to word patterns and language rules in a quick way within the context of reading.

Organizing for Focus Poetry

There should be a dedicated place in the classroom to hang the weekly poem, keep previous poems and all the word work and comprehension activities posted.

Each student should have a notebook in which they can place the week’s poem and illustrate it.

This is NOT a place for students to practice handwriting by copying the poem into the notebook. This is a book that students build with each week’s poem.

Students illustrate the poem based on their knowledge and interpretation of the content, return to the poetry book to reread the poems and take the poetry notebook home to read poems to family members.

This sounds like something for primary teachers...

Can I use this strategy with older children?

YES!! Focus poetry can be used at grade levels through Middle School. The difference and complexity is in the planning and poem choice and the developmentally appropriate concepts of language, language features and text features that are studied each week.

Implementing a Daily Focus Poetry Routine

With a repetitive 5-day plan, planning will be easy. Students should be given opportunities to develop and build their fluency, work on concepts of language, develop comprehension and respond to text in a variety of ways. (see gallery above)

When choosing poetry for this part of the day, keep the poems fun and fresh, but also relevant to what I want you to accomplish with your students.

The week starts with unveiling a new poem. Building anticipation to the new poem will spark student enthusiasm and keep this daily routine fresh.

The days following involve concepts of language, vocabulary development, fluency building and comprehension.

All students will keep small copies of the weekly poems in a focus poetry notebook for rereading.

The week ends with a quick response to the poem. The possibilities are endless. These responses can be oral, artistic or written.

Check out the printable PDF here. Click on the image

There is also a Launching Focus Poetry available in my Teachers Pay Teachers store here. With this, you will have 5 poems to get Focus Poetry started. Take a look at the product preview below. Click on the images to take to you the product in my store.

Until next time...

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