Lesson: Parts of Poetry

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Lesson Objective

Students will be able to notice stanzas and lines in a poem.

Lesson Plan

Connection (3-5 mins):  Students are seated on the carpet with a partner.  They are expected to turn and talk to this partner throughout the lesson.  Yesterday, we noticed many different characteristics of poetry.  Let’s review some of the characteristics.  Teacher reveals teaching chart from the previous day.  Teacher calls on individual students to read characteristics of poetry listed on the chart.  Today, we will keep in mind these characteristics as we begin to notice the different parts of a poem.

Teach/Active Engagement (10-12 mins): Teacher places poem below on the overhead for students to see. 

I’m Dan the invisible man,
So don’t bother looking for me.
No matter how watchful you are,
I’m someone you simply can’t see.
Although I eat visible food,
I still remain perfectly clear,
And if I stopped talking to you,
You’d have no idea I was here.

I love to relax in the tub
And scrub my invisible skin,
Then comb my invisible hair
And shave my invisible chin.
I wear an invisible shirt,
Invisible trousers and vest.
I really don’t know what Id o,
You can’t even tell that I’m dressed.

Readers, when I look at this poem I notice many different things.  The first thing I notice is that there is a space between the two paragraph type parts of this poem.  These are called stanzas.  A stanza is a group of lines in poetry that are bunched together.  In this poem I notice there are two stanzas.  I will label the each stanza of this poem.  Teacher write on poem, stanza one and stanza two. 

I also notice that each stanza is made up of lines of poetry.  Sometimes these lines might not be entire sentences.  For example, “ I’m Dan the invisible man,” is one line in the poem, but it’s not a complete sentence.  The rest of the sentence is on the line below.  Poets decide how they want to break apart the sentences in their poems, sometimes to create meaning or for appearance.  It is important for us as readers to understand the difference between a stanza and a line of poetry.  Some poems have the lines numbered, this is important to pay attention to if you are ever asked a specific question about a line of poetry.

Now it’s your turn to try.  I am going to put up another poem on the overhead.  As you read this poem with your partner, I want you to notice how many lines are in each stanza and how many stanzas are in the poem.  Teacher places the poem, Paula Prue, I’m Mad at You.

Paula Prue, I’m mad at you,
I don’t like the things you do.
You dropped ice cream down my shirt,
That’s no place for your dessert.

Paula Prue, I’ll pay you back
When I launch my sneak attack.
Some day soon I’ll get my chance-
You’ll have pizza down your pants.

Students should turn and read aloud the poem with their partner noticing how many stanzas and lines are present in the poem.  Teacher calls on students to share out responses and labels poem with students.

Independent Reading (15-20 mins): Students should return to their seats.  At the beginning of the unit each student is given a folder with various poems.  I create these folders ahead of time with different examples of poetry.  Today, when students return to their seats they should spend workshop time reading independently.  As they read independently they should mark the text of their poems, numbering the lines and stanzas in each poem they read.

Exit Slip/Share (5-10 mins): You all did a great job reading during workshop time today and I noticed many of you were able to label multiple poems during that time.  I am handing out one more poem for you to read.  As you read this poem I want you to answer the questions at the bottom of the page.  This will serve as your exit slip for the day.

Reflection:  This is a fairly simple lesson but sets the foundation for the rest of the unit.  In many standardized tests students have questions about specific lines or stanzas in a poem.  This lesson helps set them up to be successful on those types of questions because they are already familiar with a poem being numbered.

Lesson Resources

Parts of a poem exit slip   Assessment


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