Sequence of Activities:
Go-around (10 minutes)
- Ask each student their favorite plant that grows in the garden at school (or at home/what they would grow in a garden, if more applicable)
Garden Poem (10 minutes)
- Write “Repeating” and “Changing” on the board. Ask students what these words mean, and write the definitions they give you on the board. Tell them that these two words are the key to chant poems.
- Do an “I read, you read” with “My Garden Poem” (below) twice
- Ask the following questions and write students’ answers on the board:
- What stays the same in the poem? What changes?
- Can you name the five senses? (see, hear, touch, smell, taste). Where do the five senses show up in the poem?
- What details do you see in the poem?
Group garden poem (10 minutes)
- Write a group poem together, starting each line with “Our garden …” Aim to write one line for each of the five senses.
- Do an “I read, you read” with the sample poem. After reading it once, invite students to get up and act it out.
Individual chant poems (20 minutes)
- Brainstorm other places students can write chant poems about. (Some locations my students chose: the park, home, Dairy Queen, downtown)
- Make sure each student has paper and a pencil or pen. Ask them to write a chant poem based on a place of their choosing. It should be at least five lines long, and challenge the students to utilize all five senses.
- Add extra lines to your poem, so it’s ten lines long
- Choose one phrase in your first poem and use it as the repeating phrase in your chant poem
My Garden Poem
My garden is green with bursts of other colors—red chilis, pink zinnias, orange marigolds.
My garden is rough beneath my heels when I walk through it barefoot.
My garden rustles when monsoon winds rush through it.
My garden tastes like the jalapeños I pick and turn into spicy salsa!
My garden smells like oregano, rosemary, and basil crushed between my fingers.