Free Poetry Lesson Plan

Title/ Description: Writing Poetry

Level: grades 8-12

Duration: 10, 2-hour class periods

Historical Overview: Poetry has been around for thousands of years. Tracing back to the first signs of poetry is difficult, but often begins with epic poetry or narrative poetry. A tale is told of a heroes’ adventure and often resembles another type of poetry called a ballad. Ballads have a lyrical rhyme pattern, which is the common feature of poems. Haikus are a form of Japanese poetry that uses a particular structured pattern. It consists of 3 lines, where the first and last line have 5 syllables and the second line has 7 syllables.

Goals and Objectives: To introduce types of poetry and their structure. To learn the basic format of a poem and how to create one with one subject in mind.

Vocabulary: 

Rhyme: the sound of one word or line repeats with another word or line.

Metaphor: depicts the likeness of one object or subject to another object or subject.

Simile: The comparison of two unlike things using the word “like” or “as.”

Alliteration: when a series of words have the same first consonant sound.

Onomatopoeia: A word that describes a sound.

Materials:

  • Loose leaf papers
  • Pencils
  • Markers/coloring pencils/crayons
  • Construction papers

Procedures:

An Ode to-:

  1. Have the children pick a subject or object in the classroom.
  2. Have them make a list of adjectives to describe that subject or object. Then let them circle the adjectives they would like to include in their poem.
  3. Have them list the sounds they hear when they think of their object or subject, then circle the ones they want to include in their poem.
  4. Have them list the feeling the object or subject has and circle the ones they want to include in their poem.
  5. Let them choose to either write an epic poem, haiku, or ballad using the literary techniques such as similes and onomatopoeia.
  6. Once its finalized have them write it on a sheet of construction paper with pencil and outline it with marker.
  7. Have them decorate the border of the construction paper and draw their object or subject.

 

Famous Poetry examples :

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings- Maya Angelou                

The free bird leaps
on the back of the wind
and floats downstream
till the current ends
and dips his wings
in the orange sun rays
and dares to claim the sky.

But a bird that stalks
down his narrow cage
can seldom see through
his bars of rage
his wings are clipped and
his feet are tied
so he opens his throat to sing.

The caged bird sings
with fearful trill
of the things unknown
but longed for still
and his tune is heard
on the distant hill
for the caged bird
sings of freedom

The free bird thinks of another breeze
and the trade winds soft through the sighing trees
and the fat worms waiting on a dawn-bright lawn
and he names the sky his own.

But a caged bird stands on the grave of dreams
his shadow shouts on a nightmare scream
his wings are clipped and his feet are tied
so he opens his throat to sing

The caged bird sings
with a fearful trill
of things unknown
but longed for still
and his tune is heard
on the distant hill
for the caged bird
sings of freedom.

Haiku:

An old silent pond…
A frog jumps into the pond,
splash! Silence again.

-Matsuo Bashō

Students’ Poetry examples:

Ocean so Blue

Ocean so blue,
see myself and what true.
Full of lies that I wish I could run and fly.

How are you clear and I can’t see you?
Your so strong and never scared.
Knocking out trees and houses with one blow.

The Sea

While the sea is breathtaking,
at times it can be unruly.
But I’ll take the bad with the good
because I’m a sailor through and through truly.

 

 

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