Thematic Unit

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Poetry:I know, but since we're here why don't we find out why people love it, hate it, and continue to write so much of it.

Margaret Nelson December 10, 2010 ECI 430/435 Fall 2010 Young/Lee

Part I: Unit Title and PrefaceUnit Title: Poetry: I know, but since we're here why don't we find out why people love it, hate it, and continue to write so much of it.

Introduction:This unit is intended for a sixth grade Language Arts class with mixed ability levels. Ideally, there would be twenty-five students, between eleven and twelve years old, ranging from average ability to high ability level. The gender make-up of the class would have a slight majority of females, around 55-60% and males at around 40-45%. In regards to diversity, there would be an equal mix of Asian and Hispanic students, and a slightly higher percentage of African-American and Caucasian students. Most students will come from middle-class families with only a small number of students living in a lowincome household. Their interests are varied and numbered, including, but certainly not limited to, music of all genres, sports, reading, drama, and art.

Organizational Principle: Theme:Emotion and Identity are two topics that seem to plague every student at some point in his/her middle school career. Whether it's about peer pressure, hormones, or self-discovery, students struggle every day with who they are and what that means in their school environment. Because poetry covers so many different cultures and lives, I wanted to make sure that my topics were broad, and yet would be relevant to each student in some way. I want students to be have the opportunity to write whatever they feel is important to them and I think that Emotion and Identity were two themes that could give direction while also giving freedom. Even though they are broad, I think Emotion and Identity get at the heart of what is revered and emulated in poetry and will give students the opportunity to not only understand themselves better, but may give them a window to see their peers through that they may never have noticed.

Primary Subject Matter Focus: Content:The content focus of this unit is Poetry and the elements of poetry. This includes not only literary terms like alliteration, rhyme, and meter, but also theme, plot, and voice. Students will see poetry used in several different contexts, such as literature, music, and advertising in order to show the versatility and universal thread of poetry throughout the world. Students will also be given the opportunity to write and perform their own work in class, putting the elements into practice. Even though I've heard the groans from students when poetry is introduced into the classroom, I think the universal aspect of poetry keeps students connected to each other and globally to others, which will always be an important aspect of education. Poetry spans time and culture, bringing political, social, and personal ideals together into verse and I think it's an element of the curriculum that should continue its presence in the classroom.

Organizing Questions:

How would you describe poetry? What words do you associate with poetry? How has poetry changed history? How has history changed poetry? What are some of the similarities/differences in poetry around the world? How can poetry help writers express themselves/their identity? What are the different ways to show emotion through poetry?


Students will appreciate works from poets around the world Students will recognize poetry in the world around them (ads, music, literature) Students will appreciate/respect the work of their peers Students will build confidence in their own writing and performance of their work

General Unit Objectives: SWBAT: [Cognitive]: 1. Identify poetic elements in verse and prose 2. Better understand poetic elements 3. Write a collection of creative poetry 4. Critique peers' poetry constructively 5. Revise work based on peer review [Affective] 1. Listen attentively to peers/poets 2. Discuss poems in group setting 3. Participate in peer feedback sessions [Performance] 1. Explain poetic elements in context 2. Demonstrate oral recitation 3. Produce video performances North Carolina Standard Course of Study Objectives: Language Arts(Grade 6): 1.03-Interact appropriately in group settings by: listening attentively, showing empathy, contributing relevant comments connecting personal experiences to content, and monitoring own understanding of the discussion and seeking clarification as needed. 5.02-Study the characteristics of literary genres (fiction, nonfiction, drama, and poetry) 4.01-Determine the purpose of the author or creator by: analyzing the effects of author's craft on the reader/viewer/listener. Social Studies(Grade 6): 8.01- Describe the role of key historical figures and evaluate their impact on past and present societies in South America and Europe. 10.01-Trace the development of relationships between individuals and their governments in selected cultures of South America and Europe, and evaluate the changes that have evolved over time. 11.01- Identify the concepts associated with culture such as language, religion, family, and ethnic identity, and analyze how they both link and separate societies.

Possible Materials and Supplementary Texts:General Materials: Pencils* Journals* Whiteboard/Markers* Folders Novels/Anthologies: Shakespeare Bats Clean-up by Ron Koertge (YA Novel written in poetry form)* What My Mom Doesn't Know by Sonya Sones (YA Novel written in poetry form) Crank by Ellen Hopkins Cool Salsa by Lori Carlson (Collection of Bilingual Poems) Excerpts from The Columbia Anthology of American Poetry(Poe, Whitman, Wheatley, Frost)* Excerpts from Twentieth-Century Latin American Poetry: A Bilingual Anthology* Technology: Flip Cam(s)* Computers for Digital Videos CD Player/ Computer music player* Projector/Doc Cam Multimedia: Various Pastoral/Natural Paintings Movie Slamnation Songs from Artists around the world* Pink Floyd House of Pain U2 Selena Enrique Iglesias The White Stripes Enya Pelican August Burns Red Broken Social Scene Keith Forsey/Gary Chang Jingles from various advertisements* Oscar Mayer Dr. Pepper

Possible Activities/Strategies:1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. Poetry Slam(Use of Flip Cams) Poetry Critiques (Peer and Known Authors) Free-writes with various topics Open Discussions about various Poems Digital Workshops for videos/works Crafting Days (For students to revise and rework that poems) Journaling Small group discussion/critiqueslearning teams Student presentations of lyrical poetry

10. Lecture 11. Discussion of musical/lyrical poetry 12. Slamnation 13. Poetic Elements Quiz 14. Exit Passes 15. Poetry Portfolios

Narrative Overview:(All Referenced Materials are located in the Appendix) Day 1: Introduction to Poetry (Lesson Plan) Because of the resistance that is usually found with students during a poetry unit, I want to introduce students to the topic informally, so they don't feel overwhelmed or trapped by the unit. I will have written on the board a few of the focus questions that will frame the unit, including How would you describe poetry? and Why do people write poetry? Students will begin the class by first writing in their journals for the first fifteen minutes of class and then discuss together what they consider poetry and what they do not. For the majority of the class time, I will introduce a wide range of authors, and styles, focused on the themes of emotion and identity giving students the opportunity to see different elements that makes each piece unique. We will talk about what types of poems we will be studying in the next few weeks and answer any questions they have about the unit. During this time I would also give them an idea about the poetry slam and poetry portfolio that they will turn in at the end of the unit, but specifics will come later. I will give each student a folder where they are to keep all of their poetry work for the unit that will eventually make up their poetry portfolio. For homework, students are given the assignment to free write for 15 minutes to come up with ideas for poems. Day 2: Introduction to Poetic Devices Students will free-write in their journals for 10 minutes at the beginning of class. I would open the class up for any student who wished to share his/her free write, with students giving positive feedback to whomever shares. I would ask a few students to share what we discussed the day before, specifically what our unit was on and what type of things we already knew. From there, I would introduce Elements of Poetry to the students through a guided handout, including alliteration, rhyme, mood, tone, simile, metaphor, and poetic examples of each. Once we have finished going over the notes, I will put up different poems on the overhead/projector and as a class, we will discuss what elements we can see in each of the poems and what the elements add to the poems. Students will be informed that the next Wednesday they will be having a quiz based on the literary elements we've covered. For homework, students will take one of the poetic terms we talked about and write a poem using that element. Day 3: Haiku I will have haikus either written on the board or projected on the board from American, European, and Japanese authors. Students will read the haikus and write briefly in their journals what they notice about the poems I have listed, including length and themes. I will introduce the elements and notable authors of the genre, giving the cultural history of the haiku and how it's progressed, which should not take more than 10-15 minutes. Once I've covered the history, we will move to the activities for the period. Students will take out a scrap piece of paper, write down one of the four seasons, a two syllable word associa