Spring Poetry Wordles with First Grade

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I celebrated the First Day of Spring with 1st grade in the library today!

I read excerpts from two books that offer colorful descriptions and vivid details to get the students thinking about spring :

when spring comesA New Beginning by Wendy Pfeffer

This book uses poetic language and form to celebrate all the signs of new life that spring brings.
“Leaf buds uncurl on bare branches.
     Frogs leave their winter hideaways,
     hop to the nearest water, and lay eggs.”

when spring comes natalieWhen Spring Comes by Natalie Kinsey-Warnock

A young girl mired in the cold of winter looks forward to all the delights that spring will bring.
“When spring comes, Grandma and I will walk to the high pasture to pick wild strawberries that glisten like rubies.”

Then I asked the students to think of one springtime word to share so that we could create a word picture about spring:  something they look forward to doing in the spring, or a word to describe spring.  As students called out their words, I typed them into Wordle.  We then experimented with different fonts, colors, and layouts until the students were satisfied that we had caught the essence of spring.

Here are two examples.  Beautiful!

Stilwell Spring Wordle

ferguson's spring wordle



Using Wordle For Poetry

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We are celebrating National Poetry Month in my library, and one of the most enjoyable poetry activities we’ve done is to create “shape poems” using Wordle.  I began by dividing each class into groups to brainstorm a list of either nouns, adjectives, or verbs related to Spring.  Then I asked the students to choose their favorite Spring words to type into Wordle to create a word cloud.  Once students were comfortable with the procedure, I allowed them to individually choose topics that were meaningful to them and brainstorm a list of related words to create their own Wordles.  Now, is this really a shape poem?  No, because the shape created by Wordle really has no relation to the idea of the poem.  But playing with all the fonts, color palettes, and layout options Wordle allows does get students thinking about the fact that words can be arranged in many different ways on a page to create mood and meaning, and that’s not a bad day’s work!

Wordle: Spring