Tourney Time!

8 teachers like this lesson
Print Lesson


SWBAT engage and listen as we go over the poetry homework directions. This day will set them up for success for the remainder of the unit.

Big Idea

What is this poem about? Where are the poetic devices? What do we like about this poem? We'll answer these three questions when we complete the poetry homework.

Poetry Madness Unit Directions

10 minutes

Today, I explain the January Madness Poetry Tournament that will guide us through the entire poetry unit. I read the directions out loud to my kids and make sure everyone has a direction sheet. I like the opening line of the directions. Have you every thought that poetry and basketball were similar? It's a nice hook that peeks kid's interest.

Basically, there are sixteen poems that kids will all be held accountable for reading and answering questions about. Each night for homework, they'll take two poems home, read both, and answer the following questions:

1. What is this poem about.

2. What poetic devices have you found in the poem?

3. What do you like about this poem?

Then, they'll bring their answers to class with them, we'll discuss the results and at the end of the discussion, they'll vote each day for their favorite. At the end of the unit, we'll determine a class favorite.

Poetry HW Model: Poem Annotations

20 minutes

On the first day of the tournament, I'll spend time modeling how the homework should look each day. Students will need to read each poem aloud, at least twice. During the first reading, they'll be listening to the poem for the overall gist. Then, the second reading will have a more detailed purpose. During this reading, students will be listening for poetic devices and figurative language.

First, I make sure everyone has a blank copy of the Poetry HW Model (blank).

Then, I'll ask someone to read the poem aloud, reminding students that they'll need to pause not at line breaks but at ending punctuation.

I remind students that they'll need a copy of their poetic deice notes that we took yesterday in class, because the first step will be searching for figurative language. I model annotating "Dream Variations" by Langston Hughes.

Here is a copy of a fully annotated poem: How to annotate our poems.

I make sure students are following along with their copies, because they'll need this as a model to complete their homework correctly.

In Class Model: Answering the three big questions.

20 minutes

After we annotate for figurative language, the student's next job will be to answer the three homework questions.

1. What is this poem about.

2. What poetic devices have you found in the poem?

3. What do you like about this poem?

I model my thinking by thinking aloud about these three questions, especially number one.  How do we determine the meaning of poems?  One way to determine this is to isolate what you believe to be the most important stanza or line, depending on the length of the poem. I model this by asking, which line in "Dream Variations" hints the most at overall meaning? I make sure the the kids are also weighing in; I'm interested to gauge their level of interest and stamina when it comes to discussion poetry.

By the end of the modeling session, I produce a Poetry Tournament Homework Model. Kids can have this example to attach to their poetry packet, which consists of: directions, the annotated poem,

Independent Work Time: Homework Headstart

20 minutes

On the day that I introduce the tournament, I like to give kids a little bit of time to start their homework in class. It gives them a chance to begin to discuss the poems, as well as ask questions if they have them.

Poems 1 & 2 "Living with Mistakes" & "Legacies"

I pass out the poems listed above and always read them aloud. Each day I make time to read both the homework poems aloud, so students can get used to hearing the musicality and pronunciation.