SCHOOLS: SHEPARD BOULEVARD ELEMENTARY
By NATALIE DEVLIN
The second-graders at Shepard Boulevard Elementary School lined up along a side wall of the auditorium with original poetry in their hands as they waited to recite it onstage, Thursday night, April 21.
Karen Krueger, a second-grade teacher, passed copies of their poems out to the students as they arrived at the school. If there was stage fright in the room, it didn’t show. The students talked and laughed with friends while waiting for the reading to start.
The “Share Fair” is an opportunity for the second-graders to share poetry they’ve written with their families. Each year, every grade level puts together something to share with the parents. The second grade traditionally shares poetry, Principal JoNetta Weaver said.
The topics of the poems included dreams and M&Ms. Kayla Holmgren’s poem is about wishes. “When you wish, some day it will come true,” Kayla recited. “It can be any thing you want even if you’re alone.”
Krueger said the second-graders have worked on poetry for five weeks. She and the other second-grade teachers have done exercises to teach the students to use descriptive language. They watched popcorn pop, sat in a circle around a burning candle and chewed bubble gum.
“You try to engage all the senses,” Krueger said.
Nicole Nichols, another second-grade teacher, described an activity in which the students explored the difference between chewing an M&M and letting it sit on their tongues without chewing it.
“I challenged the kids to see an ordinary object in a different way,” Nichols said.
Krueger said the descriptive language the students learned from the poetry exercises was then transferred into narrative stories. At first, Krueger didn’t think teaching second-graders the parts of speech would work, but the students surpassed her expectations.
“They can tell you what an adjective is,” Krueger said.