Third Grade Poetry Cafe
Third Graders Celebrate Poetry in Style at the Poetry Cafe
For the past two years, third graders welcomed family and friends to the Poetry Café, held in the Pratt Performing Arts Center. This beatnik-style café is the perfect setting for students to display their poetry writing talents.
For a month, students are immersed in the study of poetry. In reading class, they read and analyze numerous poems, viewing many as “mentor texts” for their own poetry writing. Ask a third grader about alliteration, similes, rhyme scheme, onomatopoeia and personification. They will surely amaze you with their knowledge!
Students have the opportunity to learn about and write at least 10 different kinds of poetry. They write everything from haikus to clerihews, and list poems to poems that incorporate their five senses. After writing a poem, they finish illustrations for their poems. Finally, they compile their own books of poetry.
Each student chooses the poem they are most proud of writing to share on the big day. They rehearse it at school and at home. They arrive at school bright and early, excited to share their poem at the Poetry Café.
To make the transformation of the PPAC complete, the room is dimly lit. The stage is lined with beanbags, with only a lamp and microphone seen at the front. The room is packed with eager and curious supporters, anticipating the beginning of the Café.
First, the teachers read their own rendition of a “Poem for Two Voices.” Next, each third grader is given the opportunity to share their poem. Rather than applause after each reading, students are rewarded with snapping fingers, which is a tradition in a beatnik-style poetry reading. Some parents even participate by reciting their own compositions or their favorite poems.
Following the Poetry Café, students grin from ear to ear, proud of their achievements in both poem writing and public speaking. They are rewarded with hugs and congratulations from family, friends and teachers, as well as donuts, bagels and fresh fruit to enjoy! It is surely an event that they will remember!