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Apple Poem & Names

 I have some kindergartners this year that are having difficulty learning to recognize their names and learning the names of the letters in their names.  They just weren't sticking!  I needed something to help them with this, but something that would also work for phonemic awareness activities.  I don't just focus on letters in k.  It is hugely important that the students also be skilled in phonemic awareness.  So important that research backs this up.

So I went to my trusty book- When Readers Struggle and found just what I was needing!  An apple poem- the perfect time of year for this poem.  I can insert the student's names so we can work on name recognition.  And I can use the poem for syllable clapping and rhyming along with other activities!

Professional Book for Teachers

Poem using student names

I wrote the poem on chart paper and laminated it.  Then we read it and added actions to it.  Students also got to choose names to plug into the poem.  Since it was laminated, students could come to the poem and circle letters that they knew.  Some were only able to circle letters they knew from their names.  But that is okay, it is a start!

Pocket Chart Poem

When we have spent a bit more time on this poem, they will be ready for the pocket chart.  Students can rebuild the poem using the sentence strips.  But we won't be ready for that for a while.  Classrooms will be ready for that activity a lot sooner!  And some will be ready to cut the sentence strips into individual words to rebuild the poem that way.

Towards the end of the week, students will get this poem chartlet to glue into their Reader's Notebook.  Then they can highlight known letters.  Students in the classroom could also highlight known words if they were ready for that.  A good way for differentiation.  They can also color the apples. 

Here is a poem based on the apple poem.   Click the picture above to download it if it is something you could use.  I am linking up with Barbara over at Grade Onederful and her poem party!  Barbara would love for you to come visit her and for you link up too!


  1. Thank you so much for this idea and poem, Lori! After starting with my kindergartners yesterday, I already am noticing we'll need to be doing lots with getting to know the letters in each child's name because they also were struggling. This activity will be perfect- and I have that book too-- definitely will be referring to it frequently!
    Have a great day!
    Learning to the Core

  2. Oooh,thank you for the poem! I love your idea of using their names, and I am trying to think of how I can incorporate it into my group time. This year we adopted Wilson Fundations so I need to do that 3 days a week. I also agree that phonemic awareness is so important in addition to learning letters. Last year I had many kindergartners knowing letters and sounds, but were unable to hear rhyming words and distinguishing between letter sounds. Thanks again for sharing!

  3. Thanks for linking up, Lori! That's the perfect poem to begin the year with. My new school as a big laminator so I think I'll start laminating my poems, too.
    Thanks for all the awesome ideas.

  4. I knew you'd find more ways to get those names taught. Poetry is a great idea. (We sing this song from Dr. Jean I believe: "Hello ___ Hello ___ Hello __ We're glad you're here today." It's to the tune of Hello Ladies.)
    ❀ Tammy
    Forever in First

  5. Aylin, I hope the bird poem helps your students. This year's group of Kinders are just struggling at my school getting those letters to stick.

  6. You are so welcome, Lee Ann! I am glad you liked the poem and I hope you can find time to use it.

  7. Thanks for the linky, Barb! I am glad your new school has a big laminator. They are so handy for our charts. :)

  8. Tammy, thank you for another name idea for my students. Some way, some how we will get those letters learned!

  9. Wonderful ideas as always, Lori! Names are such a powerful way to engage little ones and I love the way you've added so many different skills into it. This would be great for my first graders too, in the first week, to get to know each others names.

    Whimsy Workshop Teaching

  10. Thank you so much, Susanna! They do enjoy anything involving their names. :)


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