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A Laugh and a Half: Students Make Funny-Poem Mobiles

poetry graphic

 

 

 

Subjects

  • Arts & Humanities
    Language Arts, Literature, Visual Arts
  • Educational Technology

 

Grades

  • K-2
  • 3-5
  • 6-8

 

Brief Description

Students find their favorite funny poems -- and write their own -- to hang from smile-mobiles. Student work sheet provided.

Objectives

Students

  • read a variety of funny poems.
  • share those poems within their groups.
  • choose their favorite poems.
  • use those poems as inspiration as they write funny poems of their own.
  • create smile-mobiles on which they display their favorite funny poems.
  • present their favorite funny poems to their classmates.

Keywords

cooperative, funny, group, humor, Kuskin, Lear, mobile, Nash, Nesbitt, poem, poetry, Pottle, Prelutsky, Seuss, Silverstein, Tucker

Materials Needed

  • books of poems that include many humorous poems and/or copies of funny poems printed from the Internet (See Funny Poems on the Internet below.)
  • funny poem work sheet (provided)
  • materials for creating mobiles (See Make a Mobile below for a variety of different mobiles students might create.)

Lesson Plan

This activity, which works well in 30-minute segments over a week or two, can be done in the classroom, the computer lab, or the library. In advance of the lesson, gather a large number of books of poems. You might include humorous poems by such poets as Shel Silverstein, Jack Prelutsky, Karla Kuskin, Grandpa Tucker, Kenn Nesbitt, Dr. Seuss, Ogden Nash, Robert Pottle, and Edward Lear.

Explain to students that they are going to create mobiles from which they will hang six funny poems -- five of their favorites plus one original funny poem!

Organize students into small groups. Divide the funny poems you gather from book and Internet sources into stacks; you should have as many stacks as you have groups of students. Provide each group with a stack of poem sources and a pad of sticky notes. Allow students to spend 15 minutes of each session simply reading funny poems. Have each student mark his or her favorite poem with a sticky note with his or her name on it so kids don't lose track of where they found the poems and so other students don't select the same poems. At the end of 15 minutes, ask each student to share one funny poem with the other members of his or her group. During the last five minutes of the period, have each student write on a sheet of paper the title of the funniest poem he or she found that day and the source (book title or URL) of the poem.

Repeat this activity on successive days. Rotate the stacks of books so each group gets a new stack each day. At the end of the week, each student will have collected five funny poems.

Now that you have inspired students with laughter, use one more class period to have students write original funny poems.

The next step is to have students create funny poem mobiles. Education World has provided a work sheet with a large laughing mouth on it. Distribute six copies of the work sheet to each student. Have students write each of their five favorite poems and their one original poem inside the mouth of a work sheet. Then have them glue the mouths to a sheet of thin poster board or oak tag.

Now they are ready to create mobiles of funny poems. Mobiles can be created in many ways; a variety of mobiles are provided below.

Make a Mobile
Following are directions for making a variety of mobiles from simple materials.

Lesson Notes

  • Every poem on the students' mobiles must include source information, including the author's name and the title of the book or the Web site URL where they found the poem. That information can be written on the back of the mouth.
  • If a poem is too long to fit inside the mouth work sheet, students can choose a verse or two to include on their mobiles.
  • The mouth on the work sheet does not include any lines to help guide students' printing or handwriting. If your students would benefit from having a lined version of this work sheet, you can print the work sheet, draw in lines of an appropriate width, and then copy the lined version of the work sheet for students.
  • Students can also use a word processor to type the poems onto the work sheets. Teachers of younger students might need to set the margins for this activity so students' poems print within the mouth illustration on the work sheet.
  • Students might use red paint, glitter, lipstick, or other art materials to add color to the lips on their smile-mobiles.

Extend the Lesson

  • After students create their mobiles, each student should prepare his or her favorite funny poem to present to the class in a mini poetry slam! If possible, have students memorize their poems and practice in small groups before presenting their poems to the entire class. Students should also be prepared to share the names of the authors and the sources of their poems.
  • Video or tape record students' presentations, and share them with parents on parent's night.
  • Hang student mobiles from the classroom ceiling.
  • If this activity stretches over several days, spend at least one of those days in the computer lab. Provide students with the list of URLs below. Those URLs offer sources of some very funny poems!

Funny Poems on the Internet
Following are some excellent Internet sources of humorous poems:

Assessment

Students and teachers grade each poem presentation on a scale of 1 to 4:

  • 4 = superb presentation of the poem -- read with lots of expression and humor
  • 3 = very good presentation of the poem -- well practiced and entertaining
  • 2 = solid presentation of the poem -- could have used a little more expression
  • 1 = good presentation of the poem -- expression needs some work
    Allow students whose presentations receive a score of 1 or 2 to redo them to raise their scores.

Lesson Plan Source

Education World

Submitted By

Gary Hopkins

 

Last Updated: 03/16/2017