Lesson plan developed by Aurora Tollestrup, BS Ed.
* Lesson plan objective and assessment can be adapted to use this activity with school-age children.
Read Sarah Cynthia Sylvia Stout from Where the Sidewalk Ends with enthusiasm and gusto! Be sure to use appropriate facial expressions and reactions to the events in the poem. After reading the poem, ask children probing questions such as “what would happen if we never cleaned up our garbage in our classroom?” Allow time for a discussion and for children to consider the effects of not cleaning up after themselves.
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Poetry in Early Childhood
Early childhood professionals often use rhymes and poems in everyday interactions with their students. For example, quick little rhymes for cleanup times are classic elements in early childhood programs. Likewise, teaching children rhyming words becomes a basic practice that will eventually lead to literacy skills when teaching phonemic awareness and pre-writing skills.
Poetry comes in many forms, while often rhyming and rhythmic, this is not always the case. Poetry tends to focus on emotion, imagery, and aims to get a point across to the intended audience. At times it is fun and silly, and other times it is deep and thought provoking. Both carry equal weight in the early childhood classroom and both can be used in many different ways.