Kids learn about structural elements of poetry (verse, stanza, rhythm, meter, rhyme) and language in poetry (onomatopoeia, personification, etc.) with poems by James Whitcomb Riley, the Hoosier poet.
Created by master teacher Brenda Kovich, this resource is classroom tested and kid approved.
Three Poems for Scaffolding Understanding
- "When the Frost Is on the Punkin" welcomes readers to an Indiana farm on an early autumn morning in the late 1800’s. This poignant poem provides the perfect opportunity to teach structure and language used in poetry. An interactive PowerPoint presentation explains structural elements of poetry, as well as word choice. A copy of the poem, organizer, and questions are also included.
- "Little Orphant Annie" tells the story of an orphan girl - who happens to be a great storyteller. In spooky narrative form, the poem reminds children to listen to their parents (or the goblins will get you if you don't watch out!) Students use a graphic organizer to identify structures and language. A set of questions may be used in small group or whole class discussion.
- "A Worn-Out Pencil," offers a metaphorical account of Riley's life. Again, students identify structures and language and/or answer questions.
- Brief biological poster introducing James Whitcomb Riley
- "When the Frost Is on the Punkin" - one-page poem, 17-slide PowerPoint presentation, notes for PowerPoint, Exploring Language in Poetry worksheet, guiding questions, links to audio file of Riley reciting poem, Riley biography, and free online file of Riley Farm-Rhymes
- "Little Orphant Annie" - brief biological poster of Mary Alice Smith (inspiration for Little Orphant Annie), two-page poem, graphic organizer, questions
- "A Worn-Out Pencil" - one-page poem, graphic organizer, questions
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- Common Core State Standard RL.4.5 - Explain major differences between poems, drama, and prose, and refer to the structural elements of poems (e.g., verse, rhythm, meter) and drama (e.g., casts of characters, settings, descriptions, dialogue, stage directions) when writing or speaking about a text.
- Common Core State Standard L.4.5 - Demonstrate understanding of figurative language, word relationships, and nuances in word meanings.
- Indiana Academic Standard 4.RL.3.1 - Explain major differences between poems, plays, and prose, and refer to the structural elements of poems and drama.
- Indiana Academic Standard 4.RV.3.1 - Determine how words and phrases provide meaning to works of literature, including figurative language (e.g., similes, metaphors, or hyperbole).
- Indiana Social Studies Standard 4.1.18 (Indiana History) - Research and describe the contributions of important Indiana artists and writers to the state's cultural landscape.
I'm committed to continual improvement. This resource was updated and enhanced on October 8, 2018.