Writing Poetry with English Language Learners I Have to Write a Poem for Class By Jack PrelutskyI have to write a poem for class But don't think I'll succeed, I know I don't know all the words That I am going to need. I cannot quite imagine How my poem's supposed to be — I've got a sinking feeling I'm not good at poetry.My poem must have a meter And it also has to rhyme, It's due tomorrow morning… How I wish I had more time! I do not think that I can write A poem the way I should — But look…this is a poem right here, And it is pretty good. Writing poetry is a great exercise for English language learners. Read a variety of poems first. My own knowledge of poetry forms was pretty limited before I began teaching poetry, but here are some poetry forms that work effectively with students, as well as some ideas of how to help students try their hand at writing! Poetry Forms for Beginners Video: The Power of Poetry Group Poem This is a good place to start before students create their own poems. Acrostic Lessons: "I Am" Poem Template: Name Poem
24 Best Poems to Teach in Middle and High School It can be hard to know which poems will spur your middle and high schoolers into deep, meaningful discussion and which will leave them, ahem, yawning. So we asked experienced teachers to share their favorites—the punch-in-the-gut poems that always get a reaction, even from teens. Here's what they had to say. 1. Snow by David Berman Captures a narrative in miniature with a creative structure. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. 21. 22. 23. 24. What are your favorite poems to teach? Be Glad Your Nose is on Your Face On September 8, 1940, Jack Prelutsky was born in Brooklyn, and attended Hunter College in New York City. Although he claims to have hated poetry through most of his childhood, he rediscovered poetry later in life, and has devoted many years since to writing fresh, humorous poetry aimed specifically at kids. “I realized poetry was a means of communication, that it could be as exciting or as boring as that person or that experience.” In 2006, Prelutsky was named the first Children’s Poet Laureate by the Poetry Foundation. He lives in Seattle, Washington, and spends much of his time presenting poems to children in schools and libraries throughout the United States.
Haiku Starter Grades 3 – 5 | Lesson Plan | Standard Lesson Seasonal Haiku: Writing Poems to Celebrate Any Season After listening to haiku poetry, students use seasonal descriptive words to write their own haiku, following the traditional format. They then publish their poems by mounting them on illustrated backgrounds. Reading, Writing, Haiku Hiking! A Class Book of Picturesque Poems Students learn haiku write descriptive poems and share with the class. Grades 7 – 10 | Lesson Plan | Standard Lesson Engineering the Perfect Poem by Using the Vocabulary of STEM Students research engineering careers and create poetry to understand the vocabulary of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics). Grades 5 – 8 | Lesson Plan | Unit Experiencing Haiku Through Mindfulness, Movement & Music By being present and mindful on nature walks, students write haiku using vivid sensory language; and explore body movement, music and art as visual and kinesthetic representations of their poetry. Animate that Haiku!
Learning Resources | Shel Silverstein “My beard grows to my toes, I never wear no clothes, I wraps my hair Around my bare, And down the road I goes.” – “My Beard” Where the Sidewalk Ends “Needles and pins, Needles and pins, Sew me a sail To catch me the wind.” – from “Needles and Pins” Falling Up “Millie McDeevit screamed a scream So loud it made her eyebrows steam.” – from “Screamin’ Millie” Falling Up “I will not play at tug o’ war. I’d rather play at hug o’ war” – from “Hug O’ War” Where the Sidewalk Ends “If you are a dreamer, come in.” – from “Invitation” Where the Sidewalk Ends “Anything can happen, child, ANYTHING can be.” – from “Listen to the Mustn’ts" Where the Sidewalk Ends “Balancing my ABCs Takes from noon to half past three. I don’t have time to grab a T Or even stop to take a P.” – “Alphabalance” Falling Up “Last night I had a crazy dream That I was teachin’ school.
Using poems, quotations and proverbs The activities below are ways for students to enjoy the music of English. Poems Choose short simple poems that are close to students' lives. These poems are not for heavy analysis. They are for saying aloud. Give pairs a poem to read together. Learning things by heart is very much a part of school systems and it gives students a sense of achievement to know a poem in English. Recommended poems and poets to try are:; Michael Rosen, Roger McGough or John Hegley . Quotations from Literature Another popular form of learning by heart and reading aloud are the famous sayings from our own literature or the work of philosophers, historians and politicians. They can spark interest in a theme, a person or a writer They are a good basis for discussion They carry universal messages across cultural boundaries They can be learned and recited for their music and beauty They are a common feature of language studies Proverbs They have the same advantages of quotations from literature. For example:
poets.org | Academy of American Poets The art of the metaphor - Jane Hirshfield To explore metaphors more fully on your own, there are three directions you can go. The first is simply to start noticing whenever you meet one. Jane Hirshfield slipped metaphors into many of the things she said in this lesson. You might listen to it again and make a list of some of the metaphors she used along the way, without pointing out that they were metaphors. Then go to any random web blog or newspaper or magazine article and just start reading until you’ve found a half dozen metaphors. Sometimes there will be many right away, other times there could be none at all. A second direction to explore metaphors further is to practice inventing metaphors yourself. A third way to learn more about metaphor is to read about it directly. A few specific resources: Almost every modern textbook or handbook about poetry has a chapter on metaphor. BBC Radio ran a terrific 45 minute program on metaphor (with a good “recommended books” list on the program’s web page).
Using poems to develop productive skills This is a great motivator. Poems are often rich in cultural references, and they present a wide range of learning opportunities. For me, the aim is to teach English through poetry, not to teach the poetry itself, so you don't need to be a literature expert. Most of the tried and tested activities used regularly by language teachers can be adapted easily to bring poetry into the classroom. Communicative speaking activities Working on pronunciation Writing activities Some pros and cons Conclusion Communicative speaking activities Before doing any productive work, I like to give my students plenty of pre-reading activities so that they are adequately prepared. As a way in to a poem, I might play some background music to create the atmosphere, show some pictures to introduce the topic, and then get students to think about their personal knowledge or experience which relates to this topic. Working on pronunciation It can be fun to get students to rehearse and perform a poem.
National Poetry Month April is National Poetry Month, 30 days of celebrating the joy, expressiveness, and pure delight of poetry. Learn more about the National Poetry Month, get to know some of our most well-loved children's poets in our video interview series, browse the many online resources listed here, and visit your local library or bookstore to discover wonderful new books and anthologies. Poets on poetry Listen in as acclaimed children's writers like Marilyn Singer, Ashley Bryan, Jack Prelutsky, Mary Ann Hoberman, Nikki Grimes, and Janet Wong talk about reading poetry aloud and writing poetry. National Poetry Month resources National Poetry Month is a month-long, national celebration of poetry established by the Academy of American Poets. Bloggers in the kidlitosphere Kidlit bloggers are sharing poetry and poets in exciting new ways during National Poetry Month. 30 Poets/30 DaysThe GottaBook hosts the annual 30 Poets/30 Days project.