Welcome to a set of five lessons I've written about narrative poetry. These lessons take students through understanding the structure of a narrative poem, as well as planning, composing, publishing, and recording their own narrative poem. You could easily extend this week of lessons to cover more days, as I felt a bit rushed to finish in one week with my class (we actually had four days :).
These lessons are part of a larger, six week unit my district is implementing all about mythology, dragons, gods, giants, ancient Greece, and the Olympics. However, the poems don't need to be themed according to this particular unit. I gave my students the choice. If they wanted to write a narrative poem about a Greek god, great! However, if they wanted to write their poem about their cat, that was great, too! You'll notice that I have a themed set of papers with mythological clip art, as well as a set with owl clip art. Please use whatever works best for your students.
Thank you for visiting, and I hope you and your poets enjoy this week of narrative poetry. Happy writing!
Poetry is an echo, asking a shadow to dance.
By Carl Sandburg
*Clip art in lesson header from My Cute Graphics. Thank you!
We are in the computer lab today for Language Arts because we're publishing our narrative poems in our Google accounts.
Lesson: I pass back student copies of edited rough drafts. The students log onto their Google accounts, and I ask them to create a new document with their first name and the words narrative poem, for example "Jane Narrative Poem". I have them share the document with me right away, where I keep them in a folder in my Google Drive account.
The students have the copy of the rubric that they received yesterday along with their drafts of their narrative poems. We read through the expectations for the final draft. (See Resource File: Narrative Poetry Rubric)
My students have had a lot of practice with Google documents and presentations, so I give them a quick reminder how to change their font, color, size, center or justify text, document background color, and spell check to enhance the visual appeal of their poem. I do this by typing in the title of my poem "Crocodile on the Loose" By: Mrs. Prejna on the overhead screen for them to see.
I chose not to have my students insert pictures, but rather make their poem appealing by using options within the Google document. However, you could have your students add illustrations, photos, or uploaded images into their documents.
Publishing: The students get right to work at typing out their poems. I've asked them to type all of their text, and then to go back and have fun with changing the font, colors, etc. I walk around the room and answer questions as needed.
When a student is finished, they raise their hand. I'm assessing the student's ability to follow the rubric and publish their document, so I'm not asking them to fix, finish, or change anything.
Students who finish early enjoy the poetry links on our classroom website (see links in "Lesson Extras" section below).
Gallery of Student Samples: Here is a look at a few of my student poems from their Google Drive accounts. I just renamed them with a number and saved them as PDF documents for you to view. I also covered their names, but you can still get an idea of the different types of narrative poems the students created. You'll notice that some wanted to stick with the theme of our unit and had characters including a troll, Greek gods, or other mythical creatures, while others wrote about themselves or their pets. Giving students choice helps with motivation.
*After your students have published their poems you can finish filling out their rubric to complete their grade for this week's writing and language standards.
Here are some other items you may find helpful if you are completing activities related to narrative poetry.
Home Activity: Here is an activity you can send home with your students to reinforce learning about narrative poetry at home. (See Resource File: Home Poetry Assignment)
Word Choice: My students also completed a narrative fantasy story during this unit. These are posters and handouts I created to help with word choice. You may find them helpful to use with your students while writing poetry, too! (See Resource Files: Figurative Language Posters and Word Lists)
Website Links: Here are some website links for your little poets to learn and play with poetry: