Children read countless poems by a wide range of poets, and teachers give children time to figure out what they are interested in. They read list poems, concrete poems, autobiographical poems, tongue tied poems, and serious poems. They read them silently, out loud, and they read them in pairs and in groups.
On one overcast day, students in Ashlie’s class paired up to read and talk about poems that mention rain—Langston Hughes’s poem “April Rain Song,” Eve Merriam’s poem “Summer Rain,” and Adrien Stoutenburg’s “Rain.” Students shared these comments:
“We noticed the repetition of ‘rain’ in every line.”
“You can see the poem in your head.”
“We heard alliteration of Ss and Ts.”
“My favorite line was ‘and my shadow floats on the sidewalk.’”
“This poem really makes more sense in the second stanza than in the first.”
“I noticed the clouds got their water from the sea.”
And then, Ashlie took her class outside, gave them magnifying glasses, and had them look through the misty air and observe the world covered in raindrops before returning to the classroom to write.