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Poetry UOS Grade 5 Lesson 2 Writing March 31, 2010

Filed under: Poetry,units of study,writing workshop — bestbookihavenotread @ 9:55 am
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Writing Lesson 2: Using the Writing Notebook-Creating Poetic Languages and Phrases


• Note cards cut into strips

• Four or five mentor poems of your choice

• Students’ writing notebooks to access “interesting, engaging, or intriguing words and phrases” from Lesson 1

• Lists of words from Skills Block lesson, such as nouns, verbs, adjectives, “small words,” endings (optional)

• Overhead samples of words on strips

• Teacher’s writing notebook with pre-written poems or poetic phrases

Intended Learning

• Students use interesting and engaging words to create poems and/or poetic phrases to develop a clearer sense of poetic language.

Big Ideas

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


This lesson borrows the idea of a magnetic poetry kit, allowing students to experiment with words and phrases to create poetic rhythm, images, mood, and so on.



Remind students that poets select and use words and phrases in ways that create images, mood, rhythm, and emotion.

Select and read four or five phrases or short poems from your mentor poems demonstrating this statement.


Tell students they will write words from their interesting words lists on tickets (i.e., note card strips). Explain that you have also cut word strips from the Skills Block lesson where students listed words representing parts of speech. They will use their words, borrowed words from their partners and classmates, and words from the Skills Block lesson to create poems or poetic phrases.

Tell students they may have seen this idea before: using magnetic words to create poems. Spread out some overhead sample word strips.

Demonstrate how to pull some word strips together to create a poem or poetic phrase inspired by some mentor poems. Explain how when you created a small poem or phrase you really liked, you copied it into your writing notebook.

Hold up your writing notebook to show students where you wrote five or six short poems or poetic phrases created from word strips.

Active Engagement

Students copy interesting words from their writing notebooks onto word strips and cut out ones they prepared from the Skills Block lesson. Allow students about 10 minutes (but no more than 15) for this part of the lesson.

Students may not have time to copy and cut out all of their words, but it is more important to move into the “creating poetic language” phase than having every word on a strip.


Give students guidelines and time limits for copying and cutting out words. Students may borrow words from their partners if needed. Tell students they do not need to copy all words they wrote in their notebooks, only those they especially like.

Let them know, however, everyone needs a minimum of five or six short poems or poetic phrases written in their notebooks by the end of Independent and Small Group Time.

Independent and Small Group Time

Students work independently or with partners to create short poems or poetic phrases.


• Students share with partners some short poems or poetic phrases they created and wrote in their notebooks.

• Several students share out one or two of their favorites with the whole group.


Poetry UOS Fifth Grade Reading Day 2

Filed under: Poetry,reading workshop,units of study — bestbookihavenotread @ 9:52 am
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Reading Lesson 2: Immersing Ourselves in Poetry


• Chart paper to create “Comparing and Contrasting Poetry and Prose” graphic organizer (see end of this lesson)

• Teacher-selected poem for read aloud (see Reading Resources in Unit at a Glance)

• Overhead of example of familiar prose

• Student copies of a few poetry and prose examples

• Students’ “Poetry Pass” graphic organizers from Lesson 1

Intended Learning

• Students learn to verbalize differences and similarities between poetry and prose to deepen their understanding of poetry.

Big Ideas

• Understand elements of poetry, including word choice, rhythm, rhyme, imagery, metaphor, and visual design.


Point out how both poetry and prose “create imagery” or “paint a picture in readers’ minds” and touch readers’ emotions. Point out poetry just accomplishes it with less, yet more powerful language and word choice.


Review yesterday’s discoveries from the “Poetry Pass” by allowing students to look over their graphic organizers and briefly review the “Scan, Snippet” column to recall what they noticed about poetry. Tell them they will use what they noticed yesterday and their prior knowledge of poetry to record similarities and differences between poetry and prose.


Read aloud the poem you chose so students experience the words’ sound and rhythm. After the reading, ask them to think how this poem compares to prose. You may mention a particular piece of prose students are familiar with. Allow students to “Turn and Talk” to partners about their ideas.

Begin a “Comparing and Contrasting Poetry and Prose” graphic organizer (see end of this lesson) on chart paper.

Distribute and take a minute or two to study poetry and prose samples with the class, using samples the class has seen and read before. Think aloud about similarities and/or differences you notice.

Fill in the “Comparing and Contrasting Poetry and Prose” graphic organizer with ideas gathered from the poem and the overhead example of prose. For example, you might say “I noticed poetry has different line lengths, but in prose, the lines go until the end of the page.” Then write those ideas on the organizer.

Also model including ideas similar to both forms of writing, such as “I noticed the poem I read has figurative language such as a simile. We see figurative language in prose also.” Remind students a simile is when authors compare dissimilar two things using like or as. Then write this idea in the “Both” column.

Invite one or two students to share their ideas and add to the organizer. You will refer to the chart to elaborate on ideas presented throughout the lesson, so scaffold their responses to ensure all important ideas are reflected on the organizer, which include visual design of poetry, cadence, rhythm, author’s point

Active Engagement

Students “Turn and Talk” about other similarities and/or differences they notice in the two samples. Ask one or two student pairs to share their findings and record their information on the class organizer.


During independent reading, students copy the “Comparing and Contrasting Poetry and Prose” graphic organizer format into their reading notebooks. Pass out several poetry and prose selections to students to read and use their graphic organizers to chart and record other ideas that the group may not have highlighted.

Independent and Small Group Time

• Students read independently from poetry books and/or teacher-selected poems.

• Confer with individual students and/or provide small group instruction.


•Invite students to share similarities and differences they noticed between prose and poetry that the group did not notice or record earlier.

Comparing and Contrasting Poetry and Prose

Poetry Both Prose
Has line breaks Have similes Lines go to the end of the page.

Along Came Spider by James Preller & The Higher Power of Lucky by Susan Patron January 22, 2009

Filed under: books,KidLit,kidlitosphere,read alouds — bestbookihavenotread @ 5:10 pm
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Along Came Spider by James Preller (not to be confused with Along Came A Spider) and The Higher Power of Lucky by Susan Patron are both great books for intermediate readers. I’m guessing this might be the first post that compares and sees similarities between the two titles, but it so happened that I was listening to Lucky and reading Spider at the same time, so I couldn’t really overlook the similarities even if I wanted. 


Along Came Spider is the story of two fifth grade boys who have been both neighbors and friends for a long time. Now that it is fifth grade, Trey faces a great deal of peer pressure to ditch his friend Spider who the other students find “weird”.  It never comes out and says that Spider has Aspberger’s or is on the autism spectrum, but from years of classroom experience working with students with both, it seemed to me that Spider would fall somewhere on that spectrum.

 I found the books to be a quick and pleasant read that would appeal to many different students. I think the fifth grade teachers are going to really enjoy sharing this boo. Having this book as a shared reading experience will open windows to conversations about peer pressure and differences.  I wish that the book had been around those first couple years I had a student similar to Spider, and struggled to find words to help nine year-olds accept/understand the differences in some of their classmates. Having a character in a book that can be discussed can really open conversation in an amazing way!

Even though the characters are fifth graders, I think the content and readability will appeal to a wide range of intermediate readers, both as a read-aloud and as an independent reading book. I’m adding Six Innings to my read list since I enjoyed this James Preller so much.  

I also enjoyed The Higher Power of Lucky. Lucky who also struggles with acceptance is on a quest to find her own “higher power”.  Too many overheard 12 step meetings have led her to the decision that she needs to find hers.  Lucky has two “friends”. One who makes knots nonstop (a little overfocused like Spider, but maybe that implies OCD) and one who lives with his grandmother and is overfocused on the book Are You My Mother?

I find it interesting that three Newbery titles easily come to mind that deal with foster children. I wonder if there are others I don’t know about. I wonder how the percentage of Newbery/Newbery honor books about foster children compare to the percentage of books about foster children? 


The little section that mentions a dog’s scrotum is not really worth all the fuss it’s gotten. It’s certainly not a good reason to ban a book-it is a real body part for goodness sakes. If I was reading it aloud, I would have probably just changed a few words if I was worried. 

This is a great book and I think Lucky is a character that many intermediate readers can relate to.  Add these two to your library. 🙂