STEAMed Magazine July 2015 - Page 5

whimsy thrown in. In addition, the poetry has a very musical partners spent a class session using the process of reciprocal quality. Each poem is devoted to a different insect, and many of teaching to better comprehend their poem. There were many the poems evoke the sound of that insect. words they needed to clarify for pronunciation and meaning to express their poem correctly. As a language arts teacher, my goal for this project was to challenge my students in the area of fluency. Each poem contains As the date for our performance drew closer, students read and complex phrases and multisyllabic words, many of which practiced their challenging “duet” poem together as a pair. As students had never before encountered. The most wonderful part students practiced, I worked with groups to match expression of the poetry is that the poems cannot be fully realized without a and pace to the mood of the poem to help listeners better partner. Similar to a duet between instruments, each with unisons understand the meaning of the words. and independent lines of music, these poems require students to read together and separately, creating a very musical exercise for the brain. To begin this project, I shared the book with my students as well as my idea for a performance in our beautiful school garden. We previewed the book’s illustrations and contents, and I attempted to explain the idea of reading a poem needing two voices. This concept, without an audio example, doesn’t make a lot of sense to most students at first, though I hesitate to share previously recorded versions of the poetry. I want students to create their own version of their poem’s expression. Our second step was to research the insect that is involved in their assigned poem. Students did basic research on the insect to gather background information. Once the research was complete, 5