Poetry in Depth

6th - 9th

Scholars use technology to explore poetry and its related elements, such as theme, figures of speech, and other literary devices. They complete four poetry projects including a poem analysis with a concept web, an interactive poem companion, a filmed recitation with storyboards, and a multimedia presentation. Links to complete instructional materials, including rubrics and a PowerPoint that introduces the projects, are provided. 

Resource Details


Poetry Portfolio

Wrap up your poetry unit with a portfolio. This resource includes specific requirements for the presentation and content of a portfolio. Writers include examples of literary devices, write six original poems, and conduct a study of a poet. Included in the packet are examples and descriptions of each type of poem, a rubric, and list of poets to study. Since the resource has so many examples, you could easily use the project to help guide a unit.

Reading Poetry in the Middle Grades

While this first appears to be a description of 20 poetry activities, it is actually the introduction, rationale, and explanation of the activities and one sample lesson for "Nothing Gold Can Stay" by Robert Frost. After a copy of the poem, you will find a nice instructional sequence that focuses on sound, figurative language, and theme. Related poems are listed and a graphic organizer is provided to use in small groups. Tip: Pair this lesson with your study of The Outsiders.

Poetry Aloud/Poetry Out Loud

To appreciate the value of seeing and hearing a poetry performance, groups prepare readings of selected poems and then compare and critique their interpretations and videotaped versions of the same poem. Included in the resource are activities, questions to guide groups, as well as full class discussions, links to great video performances, and poetry resources.

Ethos, Logos, & Pathos in Civil Rights Movement Speeches

Examine three speeches while teaching Aristotle's appeals. Over the course of three days, class members will fill out a graphic organizer about ethos, pathos, and logos, complete an anticipatory guide, read speeches by Martin Luther King Jr., Robert Kennedy, and George Wallace with small groups, share their findings using the jigsaw strategy, and wrap up with a poster project and individual writing. Materials, ideas for differentiation, and routines are included in this strong, collaborative, and focused Common Core designed lesson.

Songwriting Skill - Using Figurative Language: Miley Cyrus - “Driveway”

Miley Cyrus' "Driveway" provides young lyricists with an opportunity to identify figurative language in songs. After a guided practice exercise, individuals use the provided worksheets to find examples in the song and to add images to more literal lines. They then apply what they have learned to their own lyrics. The fifth in a series of nine lessons that build on one another.

Personal Poetry Anthology Project

Discover new poems with the Internet! Each learner works to compile their own poetry anthology that works toward a certain theme. Make an example for your middle schoolers, so they know exactly what you're looking for! 

"Their Eyes Were Watching God": Folk Speech and Figurative Language

Using or considering using Zora Neale Hurston's Their Eyes Were Watching God? Then this packet is a must for your curriculum library. The examination of how Hurston combines folklore and folk language to create the voice of her characters, will not only help readers comprehend the dialogue, but will also reveal her mastery of traditional literary techniques. The final assessment asks individuals to apply what they have learned about how Hurston captures the voice and culture of an African American community to her short story, "Spunk."

Exploring Selected Haiku by Issa 

If your class doesn't know what a haiku is, show them two examples from the Japanese poet Issa (both included here), and have them make some observations. How long are they? What is the structure? A video and a list of questions help your class come to their own conclusions about this type of poetry. Close by asking pupils to compose their own haikus.

Poetry Anthology Project

Young scholars develop poetry anthologies on a poet of their choosing. In this poetry anthology students must identify forms, sound devices and tropes in the poems they choose to include.

Poetry Project

As a way to integrate technology skills, 6th graders will compile all the poems they have written in a virtual poetry portfolio. They will read and write a series of poems and then use a variety of software and web resources to store their work. Poetry assignments and scoring guide are included.

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