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Family Literacy Night - 4th grade Poetry

Family Literacy Night - 4th grade Poetry

Written by Kameron Thomas
May 25, 2021

Family Literacy Night 4th Grade Poetry 

This school year has been filled with many challenges. But with these challenges, we as teachers have learned to adapt. We have learned to adapt and still maintain an educational environment that is best for our students. Due to the circumstances, my Family Literacy Night was via ZOOM. We were still able to make the best of the situation. I was worried about the turn out of families attending, however, I had a great turn out! I almost think because it was over ZOOM, more families were capable of joining in. Everyone has such busy schedules, so I think having the event virtual was beneficial to their time. 

When planning for my literacy night, I was interested in creating an activity involving poetry because my fourth graders love poetry. I also wanted an activity that could involve the whole family. With the funds that were provided, I was able to get my students each the book, Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein. This is a great book for all ages. Once we got the books, I had my students scan through the book and look at the fun illustrations inside as well. We studied and analyzed the meaning of the author’s poems. Doing this built a strong base and prior knowledge for the night of our poetry activity. 

The Family Literacy event was the evening of April 29th via ZOOM. I started off with a video of the read aloud The Important Book by Margaret Wise Brown. In this book, the author has written a variety of poems about the importance of something. After I played the read aloud, I shared some student examples of poems with the same formatting. Then I had the families start making a list of objects, people, activities etc. I gave them five minutes to do this task.This was essentially a brainstorm for their final poem. Once they were done I had them share in the chat what they had written down. The students and families had a variety of answers. From their dogs, trucks, house, family members and more. 

After the students made the list, we started the main writing activity. I had them focus on one thing from their list and start writing in the format the author wrote. This started with “The important thing about…”. I gave them five minutes to do this task. I love to play classical music during these work times. I feel that it helps my students concentrate a little better. When the five minutes were up, I had the families share at least one sentence or more in the chat. Some were even brave enough to share out loud to the group. The students that shared their writing did a wonderful job and followed the format that was in the directions. Some students put their own twist to the format. I definitely think that is fine when writing poetry. This activity really got the students thinking about the important things in their life and why they are important to them. Everyone was very courageous and their writing was super creative.  

All in all, the literacy night was extremely successful. I was fortunate enough to get a great turn out of students. I can tell the families of the students loved getting involved with their child’s writing. Some parents were helping their child and some were working on their own writing. I would love to do another literacy night once we can be back in person. There is a different connection you can make when you get to interact with your families in person. However, I believe doing the event virtual was the next best thing. I think that this literacy night really benefited myself, my students and the community! Below are some photos from the literacy night.