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How to Teach Poetry Workshop


How to Teach Poetry Workshop By Tiffany Worden Friday, October 28, 2005 Other types of poems to teach with mentor texts: Take a look at your handout and read over ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: How to Teach Poetry Workshop

How to Teach Poetry Workshop
  • By Tiffany Worden
  • Friday, October 28, 2005

About Me
  • I graduated from the TCNJ in May 2004
  • I am a second year teacher at Montgomery Middle
    School in Skillman, NJ.
  • I teach four 60-minute sixth grade language arts
  • Our school is 5/6 lower middle school.

K - W - L
  • K What do you know about poetry or teaching how
    to write poetry?
  • W What do you want to know about poetry or
    teaching how to write poetry?

My Objectives This Afternoon
  • To share my journey through constructing a unit
    of poetry.
  • To share methods of teaching poetry that worked
    well for me (and that I hope you add to your
    teaching tool box).
  • To become enthusiastic readers and writers of
    poetry ourselves.

Overview of Presentation
  • Answer the whys of writing workshop and poetry
  • Bring you through my poetry unit of study a
    study of writing non-rhyming, contemporary
    poetryintroduction through assessment and
  • Discuss additional ways to incorporate poetry
    into your classroom.
  • Identify strategies we will use in our own

Why Writers Workshop?
  • To become better writers, students need a
    consistent chunk of time to practice writing.
  • In order for students to live like writers, and
    view themselves as writers, our class time needs
    to mirror what writers do in the real world.
  • Skills based--students learn a strategies writers
    use and apply it to their own writingmeaningful

Why Genre-Based Workshop?
  • Students need a lens through which they learn
    strategies for writing genre provides this
  • With different genres comes opportunity different
    writing strategies and skills

Why Poetry Workshop?
  • Modern and contemporary poetry is written in our
    vernacular and is easily accessible
  • Economy of language Being specific
  • Playing with language and using it in new and
    interesting ways
  • Striking word choice
  • Loaded with crafting techniques (similes,
    imagery, rhetorical structures)
  • Poetry lends itself to critical discussion about
    the choices writers make.

Why Poetry Workshop?
  • In her book, In the Middle, Nancy Atwell writes
    teachers I knew avoided teaching poetry because
    they felt intimidated by it. They perceived
    poetry as difficult to read, difficult to
    understand, and, especially, difficult to talk
    about. They stopped reading it the moment it
    stopped being required. Seventy years ago half
    the literature taught to fourth grades in the
    United States was poetry. Today, its 97 percent
    prose and just 3 percent poetry. Either we love
    it, as I did, but cant imagine how to begin to
    help students experience itor we dont read it
    and dont love it Poetry deserves better and
    kids deserve better. (416).
  • We need to put poetry back in our instruction!

Introduction to Poetry Billy Collins
  • I ask them to take a poem
  • and hold it up to the light
  • like a color slide
  • or press an ear against its hive.
  • I say drop a mouse into a poem
  • and watch him probe his way out,
  • or walk inside the poem's room
  • and feel the walls for a light switch.
  • I want them to waterski
  • across the surface of a poem
  • waving at the author's name on the shore.
  • But all they want to do
  • is tie the poem to a chair with rope
  • and torture a confession out of it.

Poetry Workshop Unit Step OneImmerse Students
in the Genre
  • Before students can begin creating poetry, they
    must have a clear vision of what poetry looks
  • We (students and teachers) spend time reading
    and getting to know the texts well study. We
    make notes of things we notice about how these
    texts are written Katie Wood Ray

Poetry Stations
  • Students are surrounded by poetry.
  • Differentiation at every level interest, choice,
    ability, multiple intelligences.
  • Creates a knowledge base for your students to
    draw from and to refer to.
  • A sense of inquiry, curiosity and noticing
    pervades the room.
  • Last two-three days.

Poetry Stations
  • Create stations based on what you would like your
    students to know about poetry.
  • For me, it was important that students
  • Find poems they loved reading,
  • Develop a connection with poetry by responding
    creatively to it
  • Poetry is about creating new and surprising
  • Poetry is meant to be read aloud.

Poetry Stations
  • Treasure Hunt
  • Read Aloud
  • Surprising Poetry Scramble
  • Responding to Poems
  • Please get up and check out some of the stations!

Student Examples
Student Examples
Poetry Stations
  • Read Aloud can also become a technology station!
  • Academy of American Poets Website

Poetry Stations
  • At the end of each class, we share what we have
    done during the day at the stations.
  • Kids share their illustrations, favorite poems,
    magnetic poetry they created, act out poems, and
    read poems aloud.

Poetry Workshop Step TwoWriting Under the
  • Now kids have a vision of what non-rhyming,
    contemporary (and modern) poetry looks like.
  • Yet students are not ready to go off and write
    poems on their own.
  • We must find poems that can act as model/mentor
    texts to help guide them through the writing

Poetry Workshop Step TwoWriting Under the
  • Think about how you learned to teach Turn and
    talk with a partner

Poetry Workshop Step TwoWriting Under the
  • Kids need to apprentice themselves to good
    poetry and imitate the model.
  • Need to borrow frameworks in which to express
    themselvesprovides scaffolding
  • Continual exposure to structure used often by
    professionals will produce attention to,
    understanding of, and with practice, normal use
    of such structures. Don Killgallon

How do we go about picking mentor poems?
  • Read, read, read! Find some poems you love.
  • Try to identify the rhetorical structure in the
    poem and if any other poems also use that
  • Name the type of poem yourself.

Poetry Types I Have Found Reading Poetry
  • Narrative poems
  • Apology poems
  • Sound poems
  • Comparison poems
  • Persona poems
  • Question poems
  • Take a look at your handout!

Structure of Poetry Mini-lesson
  • Do Now/Anticipatory Set
  • Introduce model poem
  • Reading the poem like a reader
  • Students read poem like writers-noticing chart
  • Active Engagement (A Try-it)
  • Independent Workshop Time
  • Share
  • Closing

Lets Try It An Apology Poem
  • From Kenneth Kochs Rose, Where Did You Get That
  • Apology poems have a theme children find
    irresistibleapologizing for something youre
    really secretly glad you did. They enjoyed
    asserting the importance of their secret pleasure
    against the world of adult regulations. They
    apologized, and were pleased about, breaking
    things, taking things, forgetting and neglecting
    things, eating things, hitting people, and
    looking at things (101).

Do Now
  • Have you ever had to apologize for something you
    were not truly sorry for?
  • Turn and talk to your neighbor

Reading Like a ReaderThis is Just to Say
William Carlos Williams
  • I have eatenthe plumsthat were inthe
    iceboxand which you were probablysavingfor
    breakfastForgive methey were deliciousso
    sweetand so cold

Reading Like a Writer What Do We Notice?This
is Just to Say William Carlos Williams
  • I have eatenthe plumsthat were inthe
    iceboxand which you were probablysavingfor
    breakfastForgive methey were deliciousso
    sweetand so cold

Active Engagement
  • Class would try one out together on board, in
    groups, pairs or individually on common
  • Example Sorry for being late, sorry for not
    doing our homework, etc.

Independent Workshop Time
  • Please try your own apology poem as I come around
    to conference with you.

  • Whole group share sit in circle and read
    favorite line or stanza
  • Partner share
  • Small group share
  • Strategy highlight share
  • Then, teacher would close the lesson.

Students Examples
  • The Armadillo
  • Please forgive me!!!
  • I didnt know
  • There was a man eating Armadillo
  • In a box that looked like
  • It needed to be opened.
  • If I had read the warnings on the box
  • I wouldnt have opened it.
  • Please forgive me when we get you
  • Out from that Armadillos belly.

Students Examples
  • Escape
  • Forgive me
  • For splashing mud
  • On my new gleaming white Adidas
  • With coral ocean blue stripes
  • And footpads, soft and rubbery.
  • I was rushing away, a hurry to escape
  • And the all out sprint never felt better.

Other types of poems to teach with mentor texts
  • Take a look at your handout and read over some
    mentor poems and student examples.
  • What are your thoughts so far?

Open Workshop
  • Once kids have become comfortable imitating a
    poems structure and craft, they can choose their
    own poems to use as mentor texts.

Revising Thinking About Choices Poets Make
  • Lines and stanzas
  • Experimenting with line meaning, length and
  • Word choice
  • Interesting combinations of nouns and verbs
  • Deleting words we dont need
  • Poem titles

Revising Lines
  • Take a poem and put it into prose form
  • See how many different ways we can break poem
    into lines and stanzas and take a gallery walk
  • Give your lines a haircutcreate uniform lines
  • Encourages enjambingnot all ideas have to start
    and end on the same line!

Revising Lines Lets Try It!
  • Lemon Tree Jennifer Clement
  • If you climb a lemon tree feel the bark under
    your knees and feet, smell the white flowers, rub
    the leave in your hands. Remember, the tree is
    older than you are and you might find stories in
    its branches.

Revising Lines
  • Lemon Tree Jennifer Clement
  • If you climb a lemon tree
  • feel the bark
  • under your knees and feet,
  • smell the white flowers,
  • rub the leave in your hands.
  • Remember,
  • the tree is older than you are
  • and you might find stories
  • in its branches.

Revising Word Choice
  • Poetry is all about surprising and new word
  • Idea from Image Grammar, Harry Noden
  • Have kids brainstorm a verbs having to do with
    occupations For example cookingLets try it!
  • Put them in a can and have kids randomly grab
    verbs to see if they can make any new, surprising

Revising Word Choice Lets Try It!
  • Lines of poetry that need
  • some new noun/verb combinations
  • -Dinosaurs roamed the earth
  • -Violin music fills the air
  • (from Image Grammar)
  • Kids Examples
  • Before Blue is the waves on the ocean
  • After Blue smoothes out the scribbled ocean

Revision Poem Titles
  • Method 1 Surprising or interesting phrase from
    inside your poem
  • Method 2 Use the title lead into your poem.
  • Method 3 State the subject of your poem.
  • Method 4 Crafty title

Revision Homework
  • You can choose to revise throughout the writing
    process by assigning students to revise for these
    three things as homework.
  • Take a look in your packet for homework sheet.

Editing Capitalization and Punctuation
  • Have kids look at a variety of poems with
    different capitalization and discuss affect of
    using capitalization.
  • Have students use noticing chart to help
    understand the uses of punctuation marks.

Editing Punctuation
  • Some answers kids come up with using punctuation
    noticing chart
  • Period Stop!
  • Semicolon stop a little less than a periodlike
    a yield sign.
  • Colon something important is coming
  • Comma slow down, take a breath
  • Punctuation can happen in the middle and end of
    lines of poetry.

Final Assessment Poetry Anthology
  • Take a look at example poetry anthologies!
  • Kids created original anthology title, artwork,
    dedication, and included five favorite poems.

Assessment Process and Product Rubric
  • Process Criteria
  • Incorporate minilessons?
  • Have a positive attitude in writers workshop?
  • Take risks in their writing?
  • Revise thoughtfully?
  • Artifacts from the writing process (drafts,
    revisions, editing sheets, etc.)
  • Product Criteria
  • Specific craft
  • Line
  • Word choice
  • Punctuation and capitalization
  • Design and layout of anthology

Celebration! Creating a Community of Writers.
  • Celebration should mimic a book release party.
  • Different ways to celebrate
  • Authors share students share their most
    favorite poem.
  • Invite guests (parents, administrators and other
    faculty stop in to listen).
  • Have food and music playing.
  • Have students bring in favorite poem. After a
    student shares, classmates can jot down a note to
    him/her on the back of the poem.
  • Put anthologies on display in your classroom

Other ways you can incorporate poetry into your
  • Lets do a whip-around with other twenty ideas in
    your packet

Example of a poetry lesson in a theme-based
  • Greek Myth Persona Poems
  • Studying Greek Mythology in History
  • We read Greek Myths and got to know the
  • Created persona poems from the characters
  • Lets take a look at some examples!

Final Reflections and Thoughts
  • Kids were willing to take risks in their
  • Kids were empowered by the genre
  • Rhyming poems are harder to write then non
  • There is no right format when you write a poem
  • You can arrange your poems in any way.

Final Reflections and Thoughts
  • My struggling writers found their voice in
  • I dedicate this book to for supplying
    me with my pictures and my L.A. teacher for
    helping me discover what a great poet I am.
  • Ruby
  • Ruby is the center of a volcano.
  • Feel rubies smooth surface.
  • Bite in to ruby and taste its intence cinamon
  • Ruby sounds like fire cracker on the 4th of July
  • Bring ruby to your nose
  • And smell the Smokey ash if its volcano.

  • Books
  • Online The Academy of American Poets Teaching
    Resource Center
  • http//

An Invitation to Teach Poetry
  • K-W-L What Have You learned about poetry or
    teaching poetry?
  • What is one way you will begin using poetry in
    your instruction?

Thank You So Much!
  • Thank you for taking some time to talk about
    poetry with me today!
  • Thank you, Dr. Meixner, for all your guidance and
    arranging the space and refreshments!
  • Thank you to the English Department and students
    who helped set up the seminar and made such
    lovely fliers!
  • Thanks, also to John for all his help!

The Pen
  • Take a pen in your uncertain fingers.
  • Trust, and be assured
  • That the whole world is a sky-blue butterfly
  • And words are the nets to capture it.
  • Muhammad al-Ghuzzi
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