38 Writing Poems

Page
281
from

Writing Poems

Start-Up Activity

Read aloud the poem "Words." Ask your students to read the poem again to themselves and write down their favorite line from the poem. Have your students share their responses and tell why they like the lines they chose. Then ask questions about the poem as a whole:

  • How does the poem make you feel?
  • Why does it make you feel that way?
  • What does the poet think about words?
  • What do you think about words?

Tell students that this chapter helps them corral their own favorite words and put them into a poem that "brights the sky so hard that no one can stop laughing."

Think About It

“Poems must be heard as well as seen.”  

—Bill Brown and Malcolm Glass

Page 282 from Writers Express

What Makes Poetry Special?

Review the first three qualities that make poetry special. For more examples of how poetry looks different, direct your class to the playful forms on pages 292-293. Ask students to identify some of the ways these poems look different from other forms of writing.

For more examples, check out these sample poems written by 4th and 5th grade students.   

 

LAFS Standard:
TEKS Standard:
NE ELA Standard:

Related Resource Tags

Click to view a list of tags that tie into other resources on our site

Form:

Page 283 from Writers Express

What Makes Poetry Special? (Continued)

Review the last two statements about poetry. Make sure to clarify the difference between a simile and a metaphor:

  • A simile is a comparison using like or as.
  • A metaphor is a comparison without like or as.

Ask students whether the comparisons made in the sample poems are similes or metaphors. (Answer: metaphors)

 

LAFS Standard:
TEKS Standard:
NE ELA Standard:

Related Resource Tags

Click to view a list of tags that tie into other resources on our site

Form:

Page 284 from Writers Express

Writing a Free-Verse Poem

Introduce free-verse poetry. Discuss how free-verse poetry doesn't follow a specific form or pattern and usually does not rhyme. Instead, it is free flowing, with carefully chosen words and line breaks.

As you review the prewriting tips, remind students that poetry needs to speak to the heart, so they need to choose topics that they can connect with emotionally. 

LAFS Standard:

Related Resource Tags

Click to view a list of tags that tie into other resources on our site

Form:

Page 285 from Writers Express

Writing: Developing the First Draft

Show students how the writer of "The Alley Dog" transformed her sample freewriting on page 284 into a free-verse poem. Your students can follow a similar process to create their own free-verse poems.

Make sure students know that not every word from their freewriting needs to be used in their poems. Instead, they can pick and choose the best parts. They also should feel free to include new words and ideas.  

LAFS Standard:

Related Resource Tags

Click to view a list of tags that tie into other resources on our site

Form:
English Language Arts:

Page 286 from Writers Express

Revising: Improving Your Poem

The revision process is what turns an ordinary poem into something truly special. To help your students revise, walk them through some of the techniques explained in "The Sounds of Poetry" on page 289. Have them write examples of some techniques and consider including some of their ideas in their poems.

Encourage students to use sensory details to help their readers see, hear, smell, taste, and touch the ideas in the poem.

Give students time to experiment with the shape of their poems.

LAFS Standard:

Related Resource Tags

Click to view a list of tags that tie into other resources on our site

Form:

Page 287 from Writers Express

Revising: Different Versions

Once your students submit their revised free-verse poems, introduce poetry with rhythm and rhyme. Start with a discussion about the types of rhyme—perfect rhyme, slant rhyme, and internal rhyme.

Then move on to a discussion of rhythm, the patterns of sounds and beats that help poetry flow. 

LAFS Standard:

Related Resource Tags

Click to view a list of tags that tie into other resources on our site

Form:

Page 288 from Writers Express

Sample Rhymed Poem

Read the new version of "The Alley Dog" aloud to your class. Place special emphasis on the rhyme and rhythm of the poem. Afterward, closely review the sides notes. Tell your students that the notes can serve as examples for adding rhythm and rhyme to their poems. 

LAFS Standard:

Related Resource Tags

Click to view a list of tags that tie into other resources on our site

Form:
English Language Arts:

Page 289 from Writers Express

The Sounds of Poetry

Review the glossary of poetry terms. Challenge your students to model different poetic techniques and share them with the class. Create your own examples for any techniques students struggle to grasp. 

Related Resource Tags

Click to view a list of tags that tie into other resources on our site

Form:

Page 290 from Writers Express

Traditional Poetry

Review the forms of traditional poetry on this page and the next. Pick students to read the samples out loud to the class. Assign a specific form for your class to develop, or allow students to choose a form and create a poem following its pattern.  

LAFS Standard:
TEKS Standard:
NE ELA Standard:

Related Resource Tags

Click to view a list of tags that tie into other resources on our site

Form:

Page 291 from Writers Express

Traditional Poetry (Continued)

Finish reviewing the different forms of traditional poetry. 

LAFS Standard:
TEKS Standard:
NE ELA Standard:

Related Resource Tags

Click to view a list of tags that tie into other resources on our site

Form:

Page 292 from Writers Express

Playful Poetry

Review the different forms of playful poetry on this page and the next. Ask for volunteers to read the samples out loud to your class. Consider assigning a specific form or allowing students to choose one of the forms to create a poem. 

 

LAFS Standard:
TEKS Standard:
NE ELA Standard:

Related Resource Tags

Click to view a list of tags that tie into other resources on our site

Form:

Page 293 from Writers Express

Playful Poetry (Continued)

Review the remaining examples of playful poetry. 

Related Resource Tags

Click to view a list of tags that tie into other resources on our site

Form: