Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Workshop Wednesday: Easy Resources for Teaching Students to Write Poetry

I am linking up with Jivey's Workshop Wednesday for Writing Poetry.

One of my favorite resources for teaching writing poetry I bought several years ago.  It is this Poetry Writing Handbook for Grades 4-6.  It has examples of lots of different kinds of poems with graphic organizers to help them plan and publishing paper to write the different types of poems.

I also have this Easy Teach Poetry Unit from Mr. Hughes that I got in Educents' Grades 6-8 bundle over the summer. This has similar easy examples and forms to teach different types of poems.

What I like about both of these resources is that they are versatile.  You could easily incorporate any of these types of poems into another topic.  You could write them about novels, animals, Science topics, etc.

I also have Laura Candler's Writing Powerful Poetry.  This is a great resource to really get your kids to work on free verse poetry, creating imagery, and really thinking about creating meaning in poems.

I had decided that for the rest of the year we were going to a unit on surveying the different genres followed by a novel unit based on their genre interests, as well as cover some poetry and review over nonfiction text structures.  I asked my students today if they would rather do a couple weeks of poetry and then a couples weeks of text structure, or if they would rather do like one poetry type and one text structure each week over a longer period.  They decided they liked the idea of doing one text structure type and one poetry type each week.  We will pair this with them having longer to read their novels as well.  I will have them read the entire novel, and then we will discuss the novels and do some projects when they finish the novels.  This way they can read at different paces without feeling like they have to slow down, but we can also squeeze in the text structure and poetry while they read their novels independently.

I am thinking about tying in the nonfiction text structures and poetry together by having them make an autobiographical anthology.  We are working on personal narratives now, so those could be included. Then, their different poems they write could be about their lives, family, and friends.  They also could choose different aspects of their lives to write problem-solution, cause-effect, compare-contrast, etc. paragraphs.  I think it could make a fun project to send home at the end of the year with a great way to review over a lot of things but also encourage some self-reflection.


  1. Thanks for sharing all those resources April! I like easy and versatile-two words that fit well in my classroom. I think non-fiction ties in beautifully with poetry-I can't wait to see what your kids come up with!
    Head Over Heels For Teaching

  2. Those both look like great resources. I tie in a lot of poetry to our nonfiction studies. Poetry works well with so many things!


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