Lift a Line, Poetry Edition

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SWBAT use a line from the poetry unit to use as inspiration for their own poem.

Big Idea

Which line strikes your fancy? Students will choose a line that inspires them to create their own poem.

Silent Reading, Novel Written in Verse

35 minutes

Since we are nearing the end of the unit, kids should be completing at least one novel written in verse from the Book List: Novels Written in Verse. Many students will complete two or three. I've noticed that our librarian takes an active interest in what we're studying, so she tends to collect books for our various units, and displays them prominently throughout the library.

Lift a Line: Poetry Edition

20 minutes

This exercise is a lot like the previous lift a line lesson, however this is the poetry edition. As a class, we agree upon one line from any of the poems we have studied during the tournament.

Then, as a class, we select one line from the poem that we deem the most interesting. Each student rewrites that line in their composition notebook, which becomes the first line of their new poem, based on the original.

Kids use this as inspiration to take their poems in many different directions. They always ask, does this line have to be the first? I guess the answer should technically be no, because the goal is to simply get them free-writing poetry, using all of the techniques we've been studying. However, it is kind of cool to end up with a selection of poems that all share the same first line. If you do this, you end up with an amazing collection of poems, all sharing the same first line.

Here are some student samples.

This one is based on the Langston Hughes poem "Dreams:

Student Sample (2): Lift a Line Poem

Here is a "Lift a Line" poem based on Kevin Prufer's "The Gladiator."

Student Sample: Lift a Line Poem

In Class Tournament Work Time

18 minutes

At the final part of class, I give students a little share time, as well as time to work in class on the final tournament poems, "Baseball" & "February" Poems 15 & 16.

As a reminder, students read the two poems presented and answer the three homework questions.

I give them time to work in pairs on this at the end of the block. "Baseball" is a longer poem filled with figurative language, so extra in class time is nice.