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Poetry Workshop


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.