Friday, April 10, 2015

Poetry Friday - THE CROSSOVER and Vocabulary Poems

     I just started a new read aloud in fifth grade since we are starting our HOME and FAMILY unit. We'll also incorporate poetry since it's National Poetry Month by reading memoirs in verse and poetry anthologies.  The read aloud is this year's Newbery winner, THE CROSSOVER.  I've read this book twice already - the first time through I listened to the audio, which was fantastic.  The second time I read the print version as a Round 2 Judge for Middle Grade Fiction for the Cybils Awards.  Again, I loved it.   My students are already loving it (and my basketball experts are teaching me a lot about terms in the book that I didn't understand until now).  

     On Wednesday, I read a wonderful post by Michelle Haseltine on using the vocabulary poems in the book as mentor texts and having students write their own.  I was inspired and will do the same with my kids!  Here is my own attempt, using my 2015 One Little Word (this is a much harder activity than it looks):

[foh-kuh s]
To pay particular attention to.
As in: Life goes
by so fast;
births, graduations,
first jobs, and weddings
flash before our eyes.
Unless you focus
on the moment,
you will miss it.
As in: Negativity
can creep up on you.
Naysayers, cynics,
grumblers, and misanthropes
can misguide you; unless
you intentionally focus
on optimism.
Optimism is a
choice, and it's
not always easy.
As in: The world
is beautiful, and so
are its people.  God
created it all.
Distractions can
pull you away
from what is
right before your eyes,
so you need to focus.
Kwame Alexander has been so much fun to follow.  He seems so full of joy and appreciation.  His Facebook posts are a delight to read, and every video I've seen that feature him is a learning experience about literacy.  He seems funny, optimistic, and creative.  I'm excited to share his brilliant book with kids.

Now join Laura at Writing the World for Kids for the Poetry Roundup!


  1. What a great idea! Doing it. (Well, after this next week of testing goes away.)

  2. I need to read this .... it's on my list ...

  3. Perfect read aloud, and I love the poetry challenge! Yours is fabulous!

  4. Loved The Crossover, Kwame Alexander, and missed Michelle's post. Thank you so much for sharing your poem and I'm trying it. :)

  5. Wonderful poem, Holly.
    Holy moly! I admire the creativity and thinking you put into it!

  6. Loved your wordsmithing. Every word perfectly placed.


  7. Wow, that is a fantastic poem, Holly! Would love to hear you read it aloud--the voice is so strong!