5 Great Poems for Morning Meetings


Painting is silent poetry, and poetry is painting that speaks.


We have been using poetry as part of our morning routine for years. the procedure is quite simple; a poem is charted and the class recites it while a volunteer points to the words. When the children have memorized the entire poem, they work on enunciation and projection. Students then recite the poem to an audience.


  • Chart Paper
  • Markers
  • Pointer


We first preview the poem on Youtube. Then we choral read the charted verses. One student points to the words with a pointer. We repeat the procedure several times and kids take turns pointing. It takes about a week for students to memorize a new poem.

Here are some of our favorites:

The New Colossus 

America the Beautiful

This Land is Your Land


The Road Not Taken

You can find wonderful resources at:




100 Acts of Kindness Challenge 2016


Any fool can criticize, condemn, and complain- and most fools do.

~Dale Carnegie

Join our 100 Acts of Kindness Challenge! A great way to keep track of kindness in the classroom and at home!  After 100 acts of kindness are growing on the kindness tree the class gets to celebrate with a kindness party. Invite your friends and family to rest in the shade of your very own tree of kindness.

100 Acts of Kindness Tree

Kindness is of vital importance and often overlooked in our schools. Did you know that there is scientific evidence that being kind is a great predictor of future success? A study published in the American Journal of Public Health followed 753 kindergarteners from 1991 to 2010, children who showed kindness were more successful over the years of the study. Kind children were more likely to graduate from college and find steady employment.  Prosocial behavior also decreased the likelyhood of having a criminal record or needing public assistance as adults. You can find the details of the study right here. A powerful reminder that kindness matters to all of us.

The best portion of a good man’s life: his little, nameless, unremarkable acts of kindness and love.

~William Wordsworth

Kindness starts with the adults in a classroom.  We as teachers need to model the behavior we want to see in our students. Don’t worry, the class won’t walk all over you. Kindness is not weakness. It is the ultimate show of strength. Being kind will make you, as well as your students, happier. When you show altruism your brain produces endorphins that increase your sense of well-being.  Forget the coffee! Kindness is going to get you going.


  • Bulletin board
  • Tag board
  • Green construction paper
  • Sharpie


Cut a tree trunk from tag board.  Create leaves and record each act of kindness on a leaf before you attach it to the tree.  Have an amazing party when you have collected 100 leaves.

Our tree broke out in blooms inspired by Wassily Kandinsky’s Concentric Circles. We took the leaves down and each kid made the blossoms with oil pastels.

If you want to delve deeper into the subject, there are many stories and fairy tales that can be used to illustrate what it means to be kind. Aesops fables, Grim’s Fairy Tales, and biographies of altrusitic role models. You can find a collection of kindness stories  from all over the world right here on www.wisdomcommons.org.

Help thy brother’s boat across, and lo! thine own has reached the shore.

~ Indian Proverb

Read Across America Chalkboard Art

Lorax Quote

This is a simple art activity for Dr. Seuss Day.  It requires (almost) no prep and comes out great. You will be surprised how creative you class is!


  1. Chalk
  2. Black Construction Paper
  3. Dr. Seuss Books
  4. Google Images of Dr. Seuss Quotes


  1. Read you favorite Dr. Seuss book.
  2. Share Google Images of Dr. Seuss quotes.
  3. Write your favorite quotes on the board.
  4. Demonstrate how to use chalk.

Have fun!