The kids and I really enjoy doing a calendar time as part of our home preschool routine. Often this practice is called Circle Time in preschools and schools but with only the three of us, I guess we’d have to call it Triangle Time! We don’t do calendar every day of the week; sometimes we do it as few as just a couple of times a month, but it’s simple, fun, and a good way to pack a lot of learning into a short amount of time! One thing we often do during our calendar time is a pocket chart poem. This past week, I decided to do one with a Halloween theme, and found a great rhyming poem about bats. Though this poem is a perfect non-spooky addition to the homeschool or classroom during October, it could certainly be used at any time of the year!
I found the batty selection on Pinterest (of course!) and quickly converted it from a printed poem into a pocket chart poem for us. The poem is originally from Kinder by Kim‘s October page which is simply overflowing with awesome activities she likes to do with her class during the month of October! If you are looking for kindergarten activities, definitely stop by because it looks like she has LOTS of amazing stuff!
To convert the poem to pocket chart form, all I did was write one line from the poem onto one sentence strip, repeating for every line in the poem until it was completed. I also added a title to the poem because I want my kids to always remember to read the title first, developing good print concepts and awareness. I used a washable marker and dry-erase sentence strip for this activity.
Next, I added a dot under each word in the poem using a different marker color. The reason for the dots is because my 3 year old is a pre-reader and my 4 year old is a beginning reader. We all take turns using a pointer to “read” our pocket chart poems. When it’s Luke or Lilah’s turn to use the pointer and “read” to us, the dots help them with one-to-one matching. With a little practice, even my 3 year old can point to the right words as we read them! Important for beginning reading and literacy building? You betcha!
So this is what the “Bippity Boppity” poem looked like when I presented it to L&L:
I added a foam bat for passing around while we read the poem. Yes, there are only 3 of us and only 2 when one is using the pointer, but it adds a tactile and kinesthetic element to the experience and gives the kids something to do with their hands, which I’m sure anyone who has ever worked with kids knows is a good thing!!
I introduced the poem by reading it and showing L&L how to pass the bat “to you”, “to me”, and to whoever’s name we inserted in the poem. And honestly, inserting people’s names and words that rhymed with it into the poem was THE most fun thing about this activity. My kids are SUPER DUPER TROOPERS already when it comes to rhyming. My newly 3 year old can give you at least 10 rhyming words for any word you give her. Seriously! I mentioned my sister’s name in conversation just yesterday and Lilah sang out, “Mallory – calorie!” (I will not be repeating that one to my sis!!!) I totally attribute L&L’s great rhyming ability to playing lots of rhyming games like this one and reading lots of (good) rhyming books.
Now with only three of us in our little homeschool setting, there weren’t a lot of names to do for our poem, so then we started using the names of people in our family, and the names of people we knew, and even the names of objects in the room. We had fun with it! I’d even read the entire poem only to stop at the very last word just to see if they could fill it in based on the rhyme I’d given them on the line before.
The day I introduced this poem we did a fun sing-song version from memory at dinner time to tell Dad all about what they’d learned and show off their rhyming skills. Dad and I both took turns trying to stump them with a rhyme, but they were able to figure them all out!
So, in closing, I just want to say that this little pocket chart poem packs a really big punch and does wonders for pre- and beginning readers!! Even if you are not home preschooling or homeschooling or teaching at a school, this is certainly something you can do to supplement at home with your child or use for tutoring purposes. And I want to say a big, big thank you to Kim for allowing me to share her poem with you! Please visit her to check out her wonderful resources, and tell her I sent you!
Need a pocket chart stand?
Here’s how we made mine from PVC pipe:
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