I am currently teaching a poetry unit to my sixth grade class. I call it a poetry workshop and the students work in groups with a different type of poetry or author each week. The students work in groups and are responsible for:
1) Finding a poem that fits the theme for the week and comparing it to one of the poems I introduced them to that week. Each student has a different job in the group (ex. illustrator, connector, summarizer).
2) Writing their own poem using the week's theme.
3) Creating one "product" for their poem from a "Product List." The list contains activities such as a puppet show, crossword puzzle, choral reading, skit and many more
The students work independently, for the most part, all week. On Friday we have a coffee house. The students bring in snacks and I make hot chocolate. We sit around while each group "performs" their poem. It has worked wonderfully so far. This week we are working with onomatopoeia.
I shared a couple of e.e. cummings poems and I plan on having the students create sound effects to use while reading their poem to the class. As an example of this I am going to play a song by Phil Collins called "Trash in the Camp" from the movie "Tarzan." I believe there is a part at the end of the video that shows how he made the sounds using common household items.
Follow-up posting with additional details: The students may choose whether to recite their own poetry or that of a well-known author. Every member of the group is responsible for reciting. They may all read the same poem at the same time, each read a part of the poem or all read different poems but they must all recite.
The following is the list of "Products." It is quite lengthy and some work better with poetry than others but the kids are having a ball!
A letter A lesson Advertisement
Animated movie Art Gallery Block Picture Story
Bulletin Board Bumper Sticker Chart
Choral Reading Clay Sculpture Collage
Comic Strip Costumes Crossword Puzzle
Debate Demonstration Detailed illustration
Diorama Diary Entry Display
Edibles Experiment Fairy Tale
Video Flip Book Game
Hidden Picture Illustrate Story Interview
Journal Entry Learning Center Map
Mazes Mobile Model
Powerpoint Mural Museum Exhibit
Music Needlework Newspaper story
Painting Pamphlet Pantomime
Papier Mache Petition Photo Essay
Picture Story Pop-up Book Postage Stamp
Press Conference Project Cube Puppet Show
Puzzle Radio Program Recipe
Riddle Role Play Sculpture
Skit Slide Show Slogan
Song T.V. Program Transparencies
Travel Brochure Venn Diagram 3-D model
The list leaves a lot of room for creativity.