Poetry Performance

4 teachers like this lesson
Print Lesson


SWBAT adapt speech for a choral reading by preparing a performance with a small group.

Big Idea

Does how you read the poem aloud influence the meaning?

Word Roots Warm-Up

10 minutes

Today, we will add to our list of Greek and Latin roots.  Students will continue to keep these notes in their binders until we have taken a short formative quiz.


5 minutes

To start today's lesson, I read "How to Eat a Poem" by Eve Merriam Twice to the class.  The first time I do it with a mysterious tone, and the second time I read it with an excited and enthusiastic tone.  

When I'm done, I open the floor for a conversation about my two different readings.  First I ask for observations about the differences between the readings.  If I've gone over the top enough (who, me?), the students will be able to comment on the different feelings I gave the poems by how I read them.

I share that this is what we're going to focus on today: the idea that poetry has an extra element aside from figurative language, sound, and structure.  How a poem is received relies heavily on the person who is reading it aloud.

Getting Down to Business

30 minutes

This activity can be found in Brian Moon's Studying Poetry, a fantastic book that helped me get excited about sharing poetry with students!

To prepare for today's activity, I have copied the Limerick reading assignment so that students can do this activity in groups of 3 or 4.

As is outlined on the sheet, students will read, prepare, and rehearse a choral reading of their limerick.

After the groups have prepared, they will take turns performing their limerick.  This is a fun activity, and the students really do enjoy the opportunity to be dramatic!

Did They Get It

15 minutes

Once every group has had a chance to perform, we move into the reflection portion of today's lesson. It is in the reflection that they are really working at a Common-Core level.  

The reflection questions are meant to make them think about how a reader interacts with a poem when it is going to be read aloud.  

I collect this as a formative assessment.  It is the final formative assessment before we move into analyzing poetry for writing and discussion.