Poetry Performance

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SWBAT: develop speaking and performance skills, while comprehending poetry.

Big Idea

By reading dramatic poems with a partner, students build their performance capacity.


50 minutes

Because I'm asking that my students perform a lot in this mini-unit, it's important to supply them with the scaffolding to do so. I use this lesson not for it's poetry instruction (although it's a bonus), or for the comprehension of the poems (we work through it, though). My main goal is to get students comfortable reading and performing in front of their peers.

First I had my students read "Worth Hearing," a poem found in our SpringBoard texts. The two poems I used for this activity were found in the Poetry Performance lesson. I had the students turn the poem into a poem with two speakers, so they were asked to underline how the speaker feels about his or her poem. They were then asked to circle the words that pointed to how Craig felt about reading his poem.

Next, I had the kids practice.

Then, of course, I asked for volunteers to read their interpretation outloud to the class.

If there is time, the second poem in the Poetry Performance lesson is "Fireflies: A Poem for Two Voices," and I really recommend it. I have the book Joyful Noise, which is a whole collection of these poems. They are cute, and do a great job of building fluency. These do, however, require a lot of practice time, so you might want to use them for a follow-up lesson.