Structure of Poetry Workstations

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SWBAT determine how the structure of a poem holds meaning for the poem

Big Idea

Enough talk about poetic structure; it's time to put those skills to use!

Introduction and Expectations

10 minutes

To continue practicing the skills needed to connect the structure of a poem to the meaning of the poem, we'll work in workstations today. Over the past few weeks, we have lost a considerable amount of school due to snow and my classroom has been hit heavily with germs, so a lot of students have been out. One station that I will include today will be the catch up station. This isn't something I usually do, but it is necessary to work in time for the students to catch up. I'm having a difficult time meeting with students about their notebooks because their are so many students missing work. The inconsistency created by missing at least a day a week of school since December has created a situation I've never experienced, so this was why I made the catch up choice. 

Show students the workstations for the day.

Today you will move through three stations: 

In the Teacher Station: We will dig into concrete poems to infer why an author would choose to create these poems and what the shapes may mean to the poem. You will need your notebooks and colored pencils for our group today.  

This station reinforces the RL 5.5 standard for structure. 

In the Catch up Stations: You will work to complete any missing work, be sure you have read Love That Dog up to page 34, updated your table of contents in your notebook, and answered the first 3 lesson essential questions. If you have all of these things complete, you will grab a poetry book from the bin and read for this station. 

In the Poetweet station: You will work to create a "twitter-style" poem. Read the directions for the activity and use the organizer provided to create your rough draft. Then write a final copy to turn into me. While working, I want you to think about how this "new" structure adds meaning to your poem. Be ready to share those thoughts during our reflection time. 

You may want to show them the activity first instead of letting them read the directions on their own. It all depends on your class at this time. I've been doing workstations all year and will still probably do a quick overview. I try to integrate reading and writing when I can for students. In my actual writing block we are working on word choice in our personal narratives, but I like to see if they can still transfer these lessons into other styles of writing during reading. Again we are reinforcing the RL 5.5 standard on structure. 


55 minutes

Students will move through three 15 minute rotations. I have my students grouped by how they did on their last formative. Basically just one struggling group of 9 and the rest of the kids are just split up between the remaining two groups. 

Teacher Station: While students are with me for 15 mins, I plan to cover Love That Dog page 35-41. In this section, Jack takes a look at some concrete poems. I'll be at the SMART board and have my group on the floor or in the desks right by the board. Before starting, I'll have the students glue the concrete poems from the story into their notebook. 

  I'd like you to read pages 35-41 to yourself. This includes the apple poem we glued into the notebook. While reading use sticky notes to think about why an author would structure a poem this way? Why is a shape a good choice for these poems?

After students have finished reading (4 mins or so), they can start discussing their thoughts. For my struggling group, I'll guide their thoughts if necessary. My other 2 groups will probably be able to carry the discussion on their own. 

To end the station, I found this snail speed poem. I like this because although it's in the shape of a snail, it's not about a snail. 

Now read this concrete poem. What is the meaning of the poem? What message is the author trying to send us? Why did the author choose this shape?

Again, I'll let students share their thoughts, but I'm planning to have to guide the discussion for my struggling and on level groups. Sometimes they can be misguided by things like these. I even wonder if seeing the shape initially will make the message harder for them to receive. 

Catch Up Group: During stations, I'll check in on this group to make sure they are working on one of the choices. I've already done a quick check of notebooks, and 22 of my 31 students are missing something, so I know they have work to do! 

Poetweet: Again, while my students in the teacher station quickly read on their own, I'll pop into this group to make sure they know what they're doing. The activity has great instructions and details, but I just want to make sure the kids are on the right track. I looked at my students' poetweets to see that the kids followed the directions and carried out the task more so than writing content. I was pretty impressed with what they created. 

Once students have completed the stations, wrap up the last 10 minutes with some reflections on the academic and behavioral expectations. I use the 7 habits to guide these reflections, but anything will work. The idea is to keep them actively thinking about how they did on their own.  As for academics, I use this time to ask about the poetweet structure and how it adds meaning to their poem.

How is this structure meaningful to your poem? Can structures change over time? Do you think new structures will continue to appear over time?