Poem of the Month

Ocean Commotion

Did you know June is National Oceans Month? This poem is a great opportunity to make content-area connections while building academic vocabulary and reading fluency.

The poems in JillE Literacy help all students experience reading success and build their identities as readers with quick, repeated shared reading experiences that develop essential literacy skills.

The built-in five-day lesson plan on the back of every JillE Literacy poem makes it easy to read and reread the poem over the course of a week, focusing on a different literacy opportunity each day. 

Here are some sample questions and prompts from each day’s teaching notes:

DAY 1 Comprehension
  • Ask students: What is something real in this poem and what is nonsense?
  • Do you think creatures could ever be tossed from the deepest ocean? Why do you think that?
DAY 2 Vocabulary
  • After rereading the poem, focus on the words commotion, jolted, slumbering, mountainous, gargantuan.
  • Discuss the use of alliteration: slumbering sleep, darkest deep.
DAY 3 Reading with Fluency
  • Discuss the punctuation, bold font, and illustrative text in the poem and how these provide clues as to how the poem should be read.
  • Read the poem out loud together, focusing on the clues to read with pace and expression.
DAY 4 Reinforcing Phonics and Spelling
  • Write the words slumbering, creatures, and swirling on the board.
  • Underline the /er/ sounds and talk about the different spelling patterns (er, ir, ur).
  • Make a quick list of other words that have this same sound but a different spelling pattern (e.g. were, learn, word).
DAY 5 Creating/Performing
  • Ask students to think of ways to perform the poem using voice, movement, and/or sound.
  • Encourage students to illustrate the commotion in the ocean in their own way, inventing other things that could have happened when the whale slapped its tail.

“Ocean Commotion” is part of the Grade 3 Whole-Class Resources kit but can be enjoyed by children and teachers of all ages!

Related Resources

Last Month's Poem

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