Hamster Man: Poetry Performance
Choral reading is a supportive strategy which can help children internalise the fluent reading of a text. Choral reading allows more fluent readers to support the less fluent, which leads them to higher levels of fluency. Using this strategy with ‘Hamster Man’ allows the teacher to draw attention to the rhyme used in the poem.
- Copies of Moon Juice, at least one per pair.
Begin by reading the poem aloud to the class.
- Can you describe what Hamster Man looks like to your partner?
Distribute copies of the book so that the children can re-read the poem and consider these questions:
- Did the illustrator draw Hamster Man in a similar way to the way you visualised or was it different?
- What do you notice about the way the poem has been written?
- Did anything puzzle you?
Share responses before explaining that you will now focus on performing the poem.
With cumulative choral reading, the number of children reading increases as the poem progresses. ‘Hamster Man’ is a poem arranged in 6 rhyming couplets. Begin by organising the class into six groups.
Number the groups from one to six. Ensure that each group has a mix of fluent and less fluent readers.
Group one will read the first couplet.
Group two join in with the second and so on until all the groups read the final couplet.
Read through the poem at least twice.
Now organise the class into groups of six and ask them to read the poem in the same way but this time as a group.
Number the children from 1-6 and give time for them to allocate couplets before practising.
If you have children leftover, add them to a group and give two children the same number.
Allow time for two groups to perform to each other.
Reflect on how using choral reading helped the performances by asking:
- How confident did you feel to perform this poem?
- Would you be happy to read this poem on your own now?
Teacher’s Note: You could send home a copy of the poem for the children to perform to an adult. The copy could be signed by anyone who has heard the poem being read.