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Sunday, April 27, 2014

I Spy

I Spy books aren't just for little kids! My fourth graders had a blast reading these seek-and-find books and then writing their own. 

Here's how we did it:
  1. Ask students to bring in a collection (or just random) "junk" from home. They can bring toys, stuff from their family's junk drawer, whatever. The pages are more effective if students bring at least 35 items.
  2. For students who forget to bring their collections, open your classroom games, manipulatives, and supplies.
  3. Allow students to organize their items all around the room. (Be prepared for a little organized chaos.)
  4. Take photos of each collection. (This year I used an iPad and found it easier to manipulate than a standard camera for this project.)
  5. Upload photos.
  6. Create a document (I prefer PowerPoint) and insert the photo. Choose a font and type "I spy" to get them started. Save with child's name in file.
  7. Analyze the rhythm (four beats per line), rhyme (couplets), and organization (two stanzas with two lines each) of several I Spy poems from one of the books.
  8. Ask each student to type a poem using this format. In my experience, most of them will need some help, so it's a good time to call on your parent helpers or classroom aides.
  9. Check poems and print.
  10. Bind into a classroom book . . . and use a second copy as a hallway display. Share with younger grades. They love it!
Once students get the hang of writing couplets, they can't get enough. One of my students just had to write three stanzas.