Each week we choose five words from the poem which become our spelling words for the week. This context provides a genuine purpose for the words while grounding the new vocabulary. I must give credit for this idea to my friends Cindy G. and Cindy A. who teach second grade. They introduced me to this concept in June while I was observing their class as part of a study I was conducting. I cannot stress the importance of sharing information through class visits. Fresh ideas are swirling around out there if you are available to catch them.
In addition to sending home copies of these poems each week for the children to read and practice with their families, we have made them available through our class page on our school website.
In December I took a workshop and learned how to include video on our class page. Since that time Lauren and I have discussed the possibility of videotaping ourselves reading the poem in both American Sign Language and English so that parents can see how we interpret the poem.
This past Friday we did just that with for our upcoming poem entitled simply Martin Luther King Jr. poem. I found this poem here as I was searching the Internet but I do not know the author.
Two excellent children's books that are exceptional in detailing the life of Martin Luther King and his gentle approach to hatred and bigotry are:
Martin Luther King Jr. Poem
Let us dance, let us sing.
In praise of Martin Luther King.
A man of peace who stood up tall.
He worked for fairness for us all.
We must be kind to one another,
Because he said, 'All men are brothers."
So let us try as we dance and sing,
To be like Martin Luther King.
Martin's Big Words: The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (the cover of this book is at the top of the post) by Doreen Rappaport and Bryan Collier.
My Dream of Martin Luther King by Faith Ringgold.