Writing Lesson 4: Collecting Seeds—Writing in the Style of Another Poet
• Mentor poems or poets whose short poems connect to your student’s lives or ones that will be easy and fun to imitate, such as ones from Baseball, Snakes, and Summer Squash: Poems About Growing Up by Donald Graves or all the small poems and fourteen more by Valerie Worth
• Overhead of teacher’s poem
• “What We Notice About ________’s Poetry” chart (see end of lesson)
• Resource: Regie Routman’s Kids Poems
• Students write poems imitating mentor authors to experience alternative ways to write free verse.
Develop awareness of sounds of words and rhythm of phrases.
• Clarify and compress ideas so meaning is created with precise words and phrases.
• Select language carefully to create images, mood, and impressions.
This lesson can be repeated more than one day if you want students to mentor themselves after several poets with distinctive styles. Students often find particular styles or forms they especially like when given these opportunities.
Explain to students that some days during the poetry unit, they have total choice on topics and form, but they can learn much from studying styles and forms of published poets. When they try writing different kinds of poems or imitating different poets, they often find particular styles or forms of poetry that work especially well for them.
Tell students for that reason, today (or over the next several days, if you plan to study more than one poet) they notice things about one particular poet’s style and write their own poems trying to imitate that style.
Select poems from your chosen mentor poet. Read aloud several poems and ask students, “What do you notice?” Create a “What We Notice About ________’s Poetry” chart of what your mentor author does as a poet (see sample at the end of this lesson). Regie Routman recommends typing this list later, so student can keep copies in their writing folders.
After each poem, have students talk with their partners about what they notice about the mentor author’s poetry. Their noticings could be about topic selection, style, form, or other things. Chart this information.
Tell students after thinking about the poet’s topic choices, style, language and so forth, you tried writing a poem imitating this style. Share your try-it with students.
Explain their work today is to write poetry in the mentor poet’s style. Remind them to use the class “What We Notice About ________’s Poetry” chart to help them write in the poet’s style. Use specific examples in your directive, such as “Write about…and use some similes to create images.”
Independent and Small Group Time
• Students write poems in the mentor poet’s style and form.
• Students share with partners some poems they wrote in their notebooks.
• Several students share out with the whole group.
• For homework, ask students to use what they learned today to write additional poems at home tonight.
|What We Notice About ________’s Poetry|
• Often writes about _______________
• Uses similes to create images
• Uses sound words
• Uses punctuation to emphasize meaning