Performing Poetry in Different Voices

Performance Prompts for Response to Poetry:

Promoting Fluent Readers

Highlight poems by placing them on anchor charts and rereading them during workshop time and/or across the day. One way to improve fluency and have some fun is to read a poem chorally, sometimes as an echo read and sometimes as a cloze read. Students can work with a partner or small group to practice reading the poem aloud in different voices and perform for the entire class. Here are some choices below. Invite your students to add to this list. To model, I performed “Apple” by Nan Fry in the voice I imagined for the Grand High Witch in Roald Dahl’s The Witches. I chose “Being the Youngest” by Ralph Fletcher to perform as Fudge in Judy Blume’s Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing. Just as my students, I needed to practice several times in order to perform for them. See below for ways to perform poetry in different voices:

Perform your poem….                                             

as if you are very sad.

Perform your poem…

                 as if you are telling a secret.

Perform this poem…

                 as if you are very wise and intellectual.

Perform your poem …

                 as if you are very giddy.

Perform your poem…

                 as if you are a news reporter.

Perform your poem…

                 as if you have a mouth full of food.

Perform your poem…

                 as if you are embarrassed by it.

Perform your poem…

                 as if you are making an important announcement.

Perform you poem…

                 as if you are teaching us the words.

Perform your poem…

                 as if you are a sports announcer at a baseball or football game.

Perform your poem…

                 as if you are afraid of being overheard.

Perform your poem…

                 as if you are having difficulty remembering the words.

Perform your poem…

                 as if you are talking on the phone with your best friend.

Perform your poem…

                 as if you are talking on the phone with the President of the United States.

Perform this poem…                                                     

                 as if you are terrified.

Perform this poem…

                 as if you are trying to amuse your one-year old baby brother or sister.

I am participating in #SOL Tuesdays.

Perform this poem…                                        

                 as if you are very shy.

Perform this poem…

                 as if you have the hiccups.

Perform this poem…

                 as if you are a familiar cartoon character.

6 thoughts on “Performing Poetry in Different Voices

  1. Lynne, thank you for sharing this! I’ve seen this idea in the past, but it certainly didn’t come with such a wide range of voices. I’m printing this out so I have it close at hand in the future.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I love this! Students don’t even realize they’re practicing when they can have so much fun. I think my favorite might be performing as if you had the hiccups. Has anyone ever performed in an alternate language? What fun it would be to sit in during your class during this time.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi, Patty. The kids love finding new voices and plan the performance – whether it is individual, partners, or small group. I love to ask students to find ways to perform their own poems – sometimes with props they design or find. Poetry is meant to be read aloud and shared, so poetry performances are always a welcomed addition in the classroom!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Lynne, when I was teaching fluency to a group of students I used poetry because of the flowing nature of poems. I wish I had had or thought some of these great voices for the students to try. I am sure it would have added to the fun and their increased fluency.

    Liked by 1 person

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