I tell my scholars we will continue our unit on the Olympics today by writing poems about the Olympics. I believe it is important that students have opportunities to write daily for multiple purposes. Poetry is a creative form of writing expression. Poets may write poems that rhyme or poems in free verse. Poets may use alliteration, onomatopoeia, or repetition. I ask them to tell me what I mean by alliteration, onomatopoeia, and repetition. Various students define these terms for the class - alliteration is the repeating of the same sound usually at the beginning of words (i.e., Peter Piper picked a peck of pickles.), onomatopoeia is the use of words that represent sounds (i.e., Bang, Pow, Swoosh, etc.), and repetition is the repeating of the same word or phrase (i.e., Stop, Stop, Stop). I further explain that some poets also use similes or metaphors. A simile is when you compare two seemingly unlike things using the words "like" or "as"(i.e, The sun is like a light bulb in the sky). A metaphor is when you compare two seemingly unlike things without using the words "like" or "as"(i.e., The sun is a light bulb in the sky.). We, then, watch a short Brainpop video on poetry (click here to view video).
I provide students with an exemplar poem from the Internet. Click here to view the poem "Olympics Race" by Victoria Scale Constantinou. I explain to students they may write a rhyming, free verse, or acrostic poem to name a few of their choices. I allow them the choice of working independently or working in pairs to contribute to student accountability.
Students share their original poems during this part of the lesson. They are encouraging and supportive of their peers. Students completed a range of poems, from acrostic, to rhyming, to free verse poems. We were very impressed with the poems produced. (See attached resource of Student Samples of Olympic Poems to use as exemplars).
To close the lesson, we play a game called The Last Word. I ask students to think of one word to describe the Olympics as their final thoughts for the lesson. Students say words such as athletes, challenging, best, cold, hot, medals, winners, losers, etc.