I Remember....

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SWBAT write a vivid poem using lots of detail based on their own speech patterns and experiences.

Big Idea

Launch Poetry Writing with a Loose Conversational Exercise!

My Lens

This week during writers workshop, students will write poetry.  Next week during readers workshop I will introduce poetry as a genre to students.  They will read, discuss, and respond to a variety of styles and forms of poetry.  

Reading poems will add the spark that will ignite their writing later in the day during writers workshop.

I am using the following resources to create my units of study.

Poetry Foundation 

Poetry Foundation - Children

Poets Page

Favorite Poem Videos

Poetry Everywhere by Jack Collom & Sheryl Noethe


As I considered how to tag my lessons for CCSS, I did a little research about poetry and the Common Core State Standards because I did not see poetry as a writing standard explicitly.  Please read the following article from Burkins and Yaris to learn more about why I am tagging my lessons using W5.3, W5.4, W5.5 and W5.10.


Generating Excitement for Writing Poetry

15 minutes

"Students, thank you for bringing up your writers' notebooks and a pencil.  Now let's learn about poetry and watch a couple of short video clips to focus our minds on the idea of writing our own verse!"

Big idea:  

Say, "One kind of writing is poetry.  Poetry is important because it is a way to express feelings and thoughts about a topic or idea.  In our world today, poetry is used in movies and commercials because many people are familiar with particular poems.   As you go through school you will learn about lots of kinds of poetry and famous poets from around the world.  

First, I want to show you a movie clip that is about a group of students at a school who are learning about poetry.  The movie is called the Dead Poet's Society.   The teacher is motivating his students to read and write poetry as a way to contribute to the world.  He asks his students...what will your verse be?  This is important because many years ago a famous poet named Walt Whitman wrote a poem with this very same line in it.

Let's watch the clip".  Show YouTube clip from Dead Poets Society.

Have students do a turn and talk about the clip.  Listen in and build on what they say.

(I'm anticipating students will say that their ideas are important and through writing poems they can share their ideas and feelings a topic.) 

Now we are going to watch a commerical for the ipad that uses some of the same lines from Walt Whitman's poem that was in the movie.

Listen carefully and see if you hear some of the same lines and be thinking why the people from Apple who make the ipad created this commercial.

Show ipad air advertisement.

Ask students what they think?  Have they seen this advertisement?  Introduce students to Walt Whitman then follow up by showing YouTube clip from Dead Poets Society.

Teaching point: Writers compose a vivid poem using lots of detail based on their own speech patterns and experiences by hearing "I Remember..." poems, generating ideas about places and things, and then  starting a poem with the words "I remember..." and finishing the sentence.

The poem can be about different things or focused on one topic.  It is up to the poet.

I made a list of some topics  I could write a "I remember" poem.

Show document

"When we write "I Remember" poems it is important to add lots of details so the reader can picture what you are writing about and feel the emotions behind the words." 

Here are a couple more examples of I Remember poems written by students.

Show and read teacher written mentor text I Remember" poems from the book Poetry Everywhere.

I'm curious "What your verse will be..."



Independent Writing

30 minutes

Have students generate a list of  ideas to write about for their "I Remember" poems in their notebooks.  Then tell them to put a star by the ideas they want to write about today.

Direct students to share their list of ideas of what they can write about with their partner.  Call on a few students to share their partner's ideas or their own.

Give students a couple of minutes to add to their list of ideas after hearing their classmates ideas.

Dismiss students to their seats to select one of their ideas and write an "I Remember" poem.  Remind students to add details to their sentences to show context and emotions.

As students are writing circulate to coach students as needed.  Check their progress on

1. list of ideas (generating strategy)

2. Starting each line with "I remember...." and adding details about topic

3. Adding details to make their poem create images in the reader's mind

3. Related ideas- going deep? or new ideas?

(either way is ok..)  

4.  Is student using repetition of I remember?


Share Out

10 minutes

As I confer with students I will notice what the students are doing that I want other students to do and check in with them and ask them to share their poem at the end of our writing session.

Interrupt students close to the end of the session and tell them in 5 minutes some students will read their "I remember" poems and putting them under document camera so we can learn from each other.

After 5 minutes, have two or three students share.

Have students comment on what they noticed about the "I remember" poems that were shared.

I remember my rabbit

I Remember MineCraft

I Remember the Trampoline

I Remember My Fish