Remembering the Sights and Sounds of 9/11 through Poetry (Day 2): Revising Collaborative Poems

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SWBAT use precise words and phrases, and sensory language to draft, edit and revise a commemorative poem about 9/11

Big Idea

Students polish up drafts of their collaborative 9/11 poems and do a gallery walk

Do Now

5 minutes

During the Do Now, I have students to identify (underline, circle, or highlight) the imagery and sound devices they used in the stanzas they created for homework. I am asking them to do this so that when they begin to work with their group they are prepared to discuss why they chose to include these elements in their stanzas and perhaps to justify inclusion into the final poem.


5 minutes

For this part of the lesson, I will introduce Day 2 of the 9/11 poetry writing by reminding students that they should edit their poem, having each person in the group share their stanzas/ideas in order to determine where these ideas would best fit in the poem. I am not giving them any specific editing techniques in this activity because I want them to focus their editing on addressing what is most significant for a specific purpose and audience (conveying a particular tone) CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.9-10.5. I will remind them that they should do all of their editing before putting their ideas on the final chart paper.

I'll ask one person from each group to pick up the following supplies:

  • Paper for finished product
  • Markers
  • Tape


Application: Revising Poems

35 minutes

During this part of the lesson, I am giving my students additional time to work with their groups to publish the final version of their group poem. I am giving them this time because I want them to struggle through the process of making revisions together. Revising can be a challenging process, but it must be done purposefully in order to strengthen the writing for the audience and purpose (CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.9-10.5 ). My students will be discussing, challenging, and justifying the collective work of their group members. After all, this is a shared poem, and I want to see how well they work together as a learning community. This is also an opportunity for students to justify how well their ideas align with the overall style and tone of the poem. As they work, I'll walk around to provide feedback, suggestions, etc. I will also be sure to comment on the way the groups are working together.

Application: Gallery Walk

25 minutes

During this part of the lesson, I will explain to my students that we are going to do a gallery walk to collect evidence about the tone of the 9/11 poems. We are focusing on tone, because the purpose of the poetry writing was to use images and sounds to convey a particular tone. Some students will probably ask, "Won't they all have a depressing tone?" This is a great question, so I will explain to them that they will be the detectives on the case to find out. They will each get a small notepad to collect their evidence. For each of the poems posted around the room, they will write:

  1. Poem title
  2. Tone of the poem
  3. Word choices that create the tone (textual evidence)

During the gallery walk, my students are practicing analyzing the cumulative effect of word choices on tone in the poems they created CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.4.  Here's a picture of students conducting the gallery walk, all huddled together like a football team. I will give my students 3 minutes at each poem. I will instruct them to discuss the tone and evidence with their group members as they rotate to each poem to see if they all agree. This video shows  samples of the student work  from the gallery walk.

Picture 1 and picture 2 show sample student poems that came out of today's lesson.


10 minutes

For the closure for this lesson, I will ask my students to vote on the most effective poem from their gallery walk. I'll wrap up the lesson by having one or two students explain why the poem they selected is the most effective. In other words, they will discuss what tone it creates and why it is so effective at conveying that tone (using words or phrases). I am having them do this because I am interested in whether or not they can be objective in evaluating how well a poem effectively uses sights and sounds to convey a particular tone.  This is also useful feedback for the groups to hear specifically what they did well in their poems. It is an important part of building the classroom community that we recognize the accomplishments of our members.