This is the third in a series of lessons. The two that precede this one can be found here and here. Students spend the first 10 minutes or so of class finishing and then revising and editing the stanzas they began the day before for our class poems about Maroo of the Winter Caves titled “Where I'm From.” To choose the most descriptive words and phrases they go back into the text looking for examples and also check thesauruses for ideas. Once completed, each group writes their stanza on large chart paper. The purpose of this lesson is to demonstrate understanding of the text in a creative way.
The class is big enough that we end up creating two seven-stanza class poems. The previous day we wrote stanza one together, so each poem starts the same way but then continues with stanzas written by partners. I place the first stanza of one of the poems at one end of the white board and then follow with the others stretching across the length of the board. One person from each group reads their stanza and we admire the results together. The variety of ideas expressed is amazing because each small group is only familiar with their own work on one stanza and it is surprising that there is not more repetition. The process is repeated with the other group’s poem.