With winter approaching, children will enjoy reading poems about animals preparing for cold weather. Here is a fun poem about a squirrel. It's perfect for first and second graders. There are two versions, one with and one without an illustration.
Poetry is meant to be read aloud and again and again. Reading a poem not only allows for short amounts of texts that can be reread often, but it is enjoyable to read repeatedly. Repeated reading is a way to increase students' fluency. It also can provide students with opportunities to learn and practice new vocabulary. I suggest selecting a new poem each week that you either write on chart paper in large print or enlarge with a projector. Start by reading the poem to the students so they can hear and enjoy how the language sounds. Then have them read the poem with you. You can select one student to point to the words as everyone reads it. Reread the poem each day for a week. You will find the students become more and more fluent. You can use the poem to have students find rhyming words, sight words or many other language activities, but the most important thing is to keep rereading the poem and building fluency.
Either at the beginning or the end of the week, provide each student with a copy of the poem. You may want to have students illustrate their poem. Next, have students glue their poem into a notebook or into a three-ring binder. Their poetry notebook will become a great resource for students to read and reread.