I created this unit for a group of students who needed extra practice with fluency and a beginner’s understanding of poetry. Each day provided a quick lesson on one characteristic or type of figurative language, multiple readings of a short poem, and practice using the term of the day. The unit was designed to take no more than thirty minutes per lesson and lasted three weeks in my classroom.
Due to copyright issues, I could not include the actual poems used each day. However, because the terms being used are universal, fitting poems shouldn’t be too difficult to find! All of the poems I used came from one of two sources:
- The Big Book of Classroom Poems [Hollenbeck, K (2004). The big book of classroom poems. Scholastic Press: New York, NY.].
I tell students that today they will take a test over what we’ve learned in our poetry unit. I explain that the purpose of the test is to see if they are able to compare and contrast two poems while picking out specific elements and figurative language types. I asked them to clear their desks of everything but pencils and passed out their materials.
Each student received a test and two poems. I explained that they should read the poems first and then read the test questions to see what was being asked of them. Before answering, I encouraged them to go back to the texts and read them again just like we had in our lessons and underline proof for their answers wherever appropriate. Students had thirty minutes to complete the test, if needed. If they finished early, they should work on unfinished work or read independently.
Before collecting their work, I allowed students to meet in small groups to go over their answers. They simply shared what they wrote and/or their ideas for each question before moving on. If they found a discrepancy, they could talk it over, but didn’t need to come to a resolution. Again, I was looking forward to seeing how students defended their answers if asked to by another.