Lesson: Introduction to Poetry

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Lesson Objective

Students will be able to explain what a poem is and how it is different from other genres of literature.

Lesson Plan

Objective: Students will be able to explain what a poem is and how it is different from other genres of literature.

Lesson Plan


Do Now:  Poetry Survey (see attached file) 

Opening:  Today we are going to start a new unit on poetry!  We are going to be exploring poetry using a new book; “Love That Dog” by Sharon Creech.  I know some of you are already thinking “Oh God!!  I hate poetry!”  But, so does the main character in this novel.  We are going to not only be reading this book, but a whole slew of poems that are fun, creative, and interesting by various authors.  You will be writing your own poems, keeping a journal of your work and by the end of the unit, presenting your own “best” poem.

Direct Instruction (I DO): 

Hold a discussion about what poetry is with your students.

Analyze the data that came from the DO NOW. – on a T-chart record how many students Like and Don’t Like poetry

  • Keep this in the classroom to reference and see if there are changes at the end.

Pose the question – What is a poem? 

  • Take student responses

  • Explain what a poem is - Poetry is a type of literature in which the sound and meaning of language are combined to create ideas and feelings. People are often attracted to poetry by its sounds and rhythm patterns.

  • Poetry is NOT just Roses are red, Violets are blue…it is so much more!

  • Just like in literature there are many different types of poems

Guided Practice (WE DO): Read pages 1-5 (thru Oct. 10th)

Discussion Question:  In his first journal entry, Jack says that “boys/don’t write poetry.”  Do you agree?  What kind of person do you picture when you imagine a poet?

Facilitate a discussion about this entry.

Today, what we are going to start is a Poetry Journal much like Jack and his class.  In this journal we are going to respond to the poems that are being read throughout class. 

I want you to try and be a poet yourself!  You will try and use and imitate what the author does in their poems in our own writing.  As we get more into the unit I will be teaching you various skills that go along with the poems we are reading together. 

I will also use our journaling time as a time to have conferences about your writing and see how we can become better writers through this process.

Read a silly poem of your choice to the students.

  • What did you notice about this poem?

  • What was interesting about the words?

  • Did the poet make you feel anything?       

Independent Practice (YOU DO):

Allow students journaling time to type their hand at writing a poem.  This poem is not so structured due to being the beginning of the unit but as we move forward journaling time will be more concrete and structured. 

Use this as a starting point for your students.

Give students 15 minutes of journaling time.

Students that finish early should have independent poem reading time, choosing a poetry book from the classroom library. 

Homework:  Students will bring in the lyrics to their favorite song. 


§         Poetry Journals (composition book or pocket folder)

§         Love that Dog (class set)

§         DO NOW

§         Examples of poems

§         A wide range of poetry books

Lesson Resources

Lesson 61   Lesson Plan
Lesson 61 Poetry Survey   Combination
Awesome website for this book!


Laurie Swink Posted 7 months ago:

Thank you for sharig this lesson. It looks great. This is my first year teaching Language Arts and I am really looking forward to trying this as part of my poetry unit.



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