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Over the summer of 2015, I put the finishing touches on this product, which is complementary to the "Vocabulary Collecting" routine my students participate in every week: Vocabulary Workshop Resources
We've begun mastering Socratic Seminars in our classrooms, and I want my students to correctly use strong, tier-2 vocabulary words during discussion, not only in these seminars but also during writer's workshop conferences and response groups. A few colleagues and I brainstormed 29 great words, and I worked to design 18 "Quick Poem" assignments that introduce and require student groups to write a short poem that shows they can use the vocabulary in new contexts.
About every two weeks, I introduce another vocabulary "Quick Poem" on a day before we are having a student-led discussion, and we add the poem's word(s) to a running list on my classroom whiteboard. During the discussion, students are rewarded for finding interesting ways to incorporate not only the newest words from the running list, but also to use past words from previous poems.
It takes 15-20 minutes to have a small group of 3 or 4 create a poem. Each poem comes with a teacher model, and many come with differentiated challenges. My students beg to perform their poems for the class after they complete them, and sometimes I make time for that!
Here are the 29 words found in the eighteen poems: affinity, caustic, cloying, curmudgeonly, dichotomy, dichotomous, didactic, foreshadow, facetious, harbinger, juxtapose, lionize, loquacious, misconstrue, misnomer, myopic, objective, obsequious, ostentatious, paraphrase, perfunctory, peruse, sagacious, scrutinize, speculate, subjective, taciturn, terse, and vicissitude.
You certainly don't have to use all 18 poems. Last year, I only had ten poems, and I am determined to eventually make it all the way through them in this school year.
Thanks for looking. Be sure to see the free sample I've included, which features two of the eighteen poems. Please...try the two free poems out with your students before buying the set. If you purchase, you are buying a single-user license; take advantage of the multiple license price if you have more teachers at your school who wish to use these!
Keep teaching writing right!
--Corbett Harrison (ALWAYS WRITE!