I introduced this activity by asking students if they remember reading poems in the hallway at “Meet the Teacher Night” before school began in August. Several students responded that they did remember. I explained that they were going to create the same type of poem for next year's seventh graders.
We read the poem, “Relax, It’s Canopy” (screen 2). Afterwards, I explained that they should include ideas from their junior high experience - what positive suggestions could they give to assist a new seventh grade student be successful next year.
Referring to screen 3, students brainstormed ideas, organized them.
Before students actually began writing, I reviewed the format for this “Given Language” poem as demonstrated on screen 4.
I reminded students that when creating this poem, it's important to organize their ideas logically and present their information in a manner that the new seventh graders will understand that seventh grade is not something to be feared.
When students were ready to create their final copy, I encouraged them to decorate it so it attracts the new seventh graders’ attention.
In small groups, students shared their poems with each other. This was also an opportunity for students to reminisce about the past year. It seemed that each student had an incident that jogged other's memories.