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By Kathleen Fenske
This unit focuses on the definition of poetry, its elements, and the types of poetry. The unit explores 4 essential questions: What is poetry? What is the difference between poetry and prose? How do you read a poem? What makes a poem great? Since poetry is an abstract term for most students, students will explore how poetry is different from prose. They will come to understand that it is written with a specific structure and that each aspect of a poem has a purpose. Students will read, analyze, and write poetry. They will begin the unit by responding to the essential questions to assess prior knowledge of poetry and its elements. Students will learn to appreciate poetry by listening and interacting with various poems. They will illustrate the meanings of poems, interact with other students in cooperative learning groups to compare and contrast poems, and work on their own analysis of a poem of their choice. Students will also analyze and delve into poetry on a daily basis through response journals. They will also utilize computers and the Library as resources during this unit. The culminating assessment for students will consist of creating a poetry book. Students will write 6 poems (acrostic, haiku, cinquain, diamante, biopoem, and narrative) using the rules that apply to each type of poetry. The poems will focus on the students as individuals and the changes that have occurred in their lives throughout the year. They will type and create illustrations for each poem. Students will then decorate, put their poetry books together, and share with the class. Once this is done, students will post their poems on poetry.com (publish), and it is the student’s choice whether or not to have them rated. They will complete a self-assessment as well as peer-assessments of their poetry books.
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