Poetry can be performed in many different ways. Here are some forms of poetry performance defined (they are listed from easiest to most difficult). Don't forget to check out the poetry breaks and try performing in your classroom.
1. Modeling - Teacher models reading poetry aloud.
(Read poems slowly, clearly, and with enthusiasm. Facial expressions and body language should depict feeling of poem.)
2. Unison - Everyone reads poem in unison.
(This is a great way for emergent or beginning readers to get involved in poetry performance.)
3. Refrain - Teacher reads poem and students all join in for a repeated word, stanza or line.
(Teacher should read poem aloud first. Then students participate as one group.)
4. Movement - Poems are read in unison with added gestures or motions.
(Students enjoy this type of performance, they can be more actively involved in the poem.)
5. Call and Response - Students are divided into two groups. Each group reads alternating lines.
(Students should know poem being performed and parts for each group should be visible in the poem.)
6. Groups - Multiple small groups read various parts of a poem.
(Parts for each group should be visible in the poem. Students should know which group they are in. The focus is on fewer children so there may need to be a little more practice than with larger groups.)
7. Solos - Individual students read lines.
(also known as linearounds, poems are list like and each student reads one line. Teacher may need to assist ESL students who have difficulty with English pronunciation. As with all poems in poetry performance, it should be modeled first.)
8. Two Voices - Two students read two individual parts.
(Sometimes the parts are alternating and sometimes in unison. This may be the most difficult type of poetry performance and may require a lot of practice. Each person's lines should be visible in poem.)
9. Canon - Poem is read by two alternating groups with beginnings staggered.
(Both groups recite the same poem but one group begins after the other. This is especially effective with poems containing repeating lines.)
10. Singing - Poem is sung to a familiar tune.
(Students should know the tune and poem prior to singing. Teacher should model poem being sung. This may be lots of fun for students, but much more difficult for the teacher. Poem must fit with the song. Usually you match the meters in the first lines of the song and poem.)
(S. Vardell, 2001)