The start of the lesson is creating an anchor chart that defines what a poem is and gives us a good start to our poetry unit. It will also be a chart that we can come back to and add information to. Adding information will make it more complete and be more useful.
I ask the question and add our thinking to the white board before we put it on the chart. I start by asking them to think and write on their own white board all they know about poetry. We discuss what they have written and talk about anything that they might have missed. I remind them to look at their poetry terms to help them find things to add to our discussion.
In our story, Love That Dog by Sharon Creech, our character is introduced and reads poetry. He is not a fan of poems and it is apparent at the beginning of the book. The first poem that is shared is The Red Wheelbarrow by William Carlos Williams.
This short poem gives us a simple look at how poetry can be short and descriptive. I lead the class in a discussion about what they notice about the poem. We use our poetry terms as a checklist to decide if this poem has any or which elements in it. This discussion is trying to focus their attention on how we can look at poetry to understand it better.
I have them read the poem a couple of times and then explain that sometimes it takes multiple readings to understand them. Each time I read as a model, I demonstrate how I can gain more information with each reading.
With an in depth look at the poem. I move to talking about the poems structure. We talk about the first line and how it is constructed. I then ask them to write the first line of the poem at the top of a lined piece of paper. I then ask them to choose a topic to write their own "So Much Depends" poem. I have them use the Red Wheelbarrow poem as their example and framework.