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How to use this Teachers' Guide

Pile of Books

Below please find links to five Core Curriculum formal lesson plans to accompany these online exercises.

With some minor adaptations and modifications, these lessons may be presented to classroom students in grades 3-12.

With the exception of fine art painting reproductions, most all materials, including student pre-draft worksheets and example poems are included. For exercises using fine art paintings, photographic images from old magazines may be substituted.

While the introductory material and English Language-Arts Content Standards curriculum citations at the beginning and end of each file may lengthen the lesson plans, the core step-by-step procedure consists of about four pages for each exercise.

Having presented these exercises hundreds of times in the classroom, we have found that the lessons can be completed in an hour, including time for students to read their work aloud to the class.

For best results, having students prepared with a sharp pencil and a sheet of composition paper prior to the start of the lesson facilitates the writing process.

Included also in these lesson plans are modifications and adaptations for Special Education as well as ELL/ELD students in your classroom.

At the end of the lesson, often times students are eager to read their poems aloud to the class. Please budget the last ten minutes of the writing exercise for those eager poets to get up in front of your class to share. As some students may be shy about sharing, we don't encourage compelling them to read aloud. Allow for raise of hands, and the shy ones will feel comfortable if they are not forced to share their work.

If I read a book and it makes my whole body so cold no fire can warm me, I know that is poetry. If I feel physically as if the top of my head were taken off, I know that is poetry. These are the only ways I know it. Is there any other way?

-- Emily Dickinson

Student poems written as the result of these exercises may be revised and printed (by hand or typed) nicely on composition paper, decorated with student artwork, and displayed around the classroom.

APW believes that poetry and writing of poems is fundamental to, and a necessary part of the common core language standards, and not an 'enrichment' activity in the classroom.

By practicing the writing of imagery, metaphor, simile, and personification, students gain a more thorough understanding of these terms and concepts from having employed them in their own compositions.

Thank you for taking the time to present these wonderful poetry writing exercises to your classroom students.

The lessons below are best presented as a series of five, as shown in the order here.

Should you have any questions about these lessons, or wish to share some of the results from your students, please let us hear from you.


First Lesson

PDF Image Image and the Five Senses Lesson Plan

Second Lesson

PDF Image Metaphor Lesson Plan

Third Lesson

PDF Image Simile Lesson Plan

Fourth Lesson

PDF Image Personification Lesson Plan

Fifth Lesson

PDF Image Integrated Poetry Writing Lesson Plan


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