The first genre launch that Tanny describes is Poetry. The concrete item that she uses to introduce it is a jar and she poses the question: How is poetry like a jar? She goes on to describe the thinking and discussions that follow and let me tell you that it's powerful. She definitely gets the students using higher level thinking.
She includes sensory exercises in each genre introduction as well. Her first one for poetry is a music connection with Ella Fitzgerald.
Tanny encourages you to have your students listen to Ella scat through the following songs:
"Blue Skies": http://www.last.fm/music/Ella+Fitzgerald/_/Blue+Skies
"How High the Moon": http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=djZCe7ou3kY
"Smooth Sailing": http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hkcd-CdvpqQ
To complete the poetry launch, Tanny suggests introducing students to Robert Rauschenberg (1925-2008) as an art connection. Below are some of his pieces to show to your students. (all found using Google)
First Landing Jump (1961)
Untitled: Man with White Shoes (1954)
Coca Cola Plan (1958)
Ask you students: How was Rauschenberg like a poet? She gives some great discussion starters as well.
Whew--that was a long post! I sure hope you can use something for your classroom as you introduce genres to your students. I know I plan to make a Smart Notebook to go right along with this book so that all of the links are ready for me to use. I also plan to go shopping to get the concrete items suggested to introduce the different genres. Ready for your list: glass jar (or any kind of container), various prisms, clothespins and two types of material (I want this for each student), small, blank cardboard puzzle, cereal boxes from home, hand mirror, and seed packets.
Think of the variety of ways that you are reaching your students with this lesson. Talk about multiple intelligences.
Thanks, Tanny, for your outstanding work!!