Best Book I Have Not Read

Writing, Reading, Teaching, Life, Attempting to Balance it All

Poetry UOS grade 4 Writing Lesson 1 March 29, 2010

Filed under: Poetry,units of study,writing workshop — bestbookihavenotread @ 5:44 pm
Tags: , , ,

Writing Lesson 1: Using Notebook Entries to Inspire Poems


Overheads and/or student copies of “Figure 10-8A. Belinda’s notebook entry” and “Figure 10-8B. Belinda’s first draft (The No-Nonsense Guide to Teaching Writing by Davis & Hill)

Intended Learning

• Students use entries in their writing notebooks as seeds for writing poems, so they can expand on topics interesting to them or consider them in new ways.

Standards (Benchmarks)

  • Write responses to literature that summarize main ideas and significant details and support interpretations with references to the text.
  • Use full range of strategies to comprehend a variety of texts, such as nonfiction, poems, and stories.
  • Generate writing ideas through discussions with others and from printed materials.
  • Plan, draft, revise, and edit writing.
  • Produce informal writings (e.g., messages, journals, notes, and poems) for various purposes.

Big Ideas

• Use techniques to craft poetry, including line breaks, literary language, and imagery.

• Select language carefully to create images, mood, and impressions.

• Develop awareness of sounds of words and rhythm of phrases.



Tell students they can use entries from their writing notebooks to write poems. Today they create poetry from previous entries.


Tell students rereading previously written notebook entries can provide inspiration for writing poems. Sometimes a topic, a line, or a description can give them ideas for writing poems.

Show students “Figure 10-8A. Belinda’s notebook entry,” page 162. Read the entry to students. Show them “Figure 10-8B. Belinda’s first draft,” page 162. Read the poem aloud.

Facilitate a discussion with students about how Belinda used her notebook entry to inspire a poem. Point out words or phrases she lifted from her notebook entry and included in the poem as well as how she rephrased ideas and feelings.

Active Engagement

Ask students to work with partners to look through their notebooks to find entries they could use to inspire poems. Students might want to circle words or phrases they might use in their poems.


Have students continue the work they started with their partners. After searching through entries, students should try to write poems inspired by these entries. Encourage students to experiment with writing poetry just for the fun of it.

Independent and Small Group Time

• Students write poetry independently in their writing notebooks.

• Confers individually or with small groups.


• Two or three students share their poems or pieces of poems and tell why they chose these entries as inspiration


At the end of this unit, students revise and edit three to five poems to publish in take-home books.


One Response to “Poetry UOS grade 4 Writing Lesson 1”

  1. Jen Says:

    A teacher I work with mentioned your blog today. I’ve spent an hour reading – great stuff here! Just found out today that I’ll be going to the August Writing Week at TC. Can’t wait. We’re trying to move our whole school towards using UOS – it’s been a slow process, but we’re getting there.

    We’re teaching a fiction UOS in fourth grade – what do the booklets look like that the kids use for writing their drafts? Do you include space for any illustrations – or just text? About how long would you make a fiction booklet for that age?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s