Here’s a way to start each class period with poetry and writing! I’ve analyzed many many poems, and I’ve found some terrific poems to use as bell ringers or as the basis for longer writing responses, such as Constructed Responses or 5-paragraph essays. This collection includes some of the best poetry classics, along with some awesome discoveries you likely haven’t heard of before - all poems that high-school and advanced 8th grade teens will connect with and respond to. The prompts have been designed to engage students immediately and to encourage them to respond; the vivid, unique photos (and one painting by the poet himself) that they are paired with will captivate your students, hold their interest, and inspire them to write.
21 poems with vivid, beautiful images with a nearly 50/50 split between male and female poets, and the topics ranging from the seasons, to saying goodbye to someone, to beloved animals, to what a kiss is like.
Two Types of Responses:
The slides include a poem or an excerpt from a poem and a prompt that asks your students to respond in one of two ways to what they have read.
Respond prompts ask for a personal response to a topic, theme, or idea found in the poem or ask students to add a line or two of their own to the poem.
Analyze prompts ask students to analyze the poem and cite textual evidence from the poem in their response. Use these for Constructed Responses or 5-paragraph essays. Analyze Prompts come with a matching printable handout so these lessons are ready to print and use!
11 of the poems come with Respond prompts and 10 poems come with both Respond and Analyze prompts, for a total of 21 poems. You can use all of the poems as Bell Ringers and use the 10 poems with Analyze prompts when you need poem analysis writing with textual evidence.
Many of the prompts fit on the same slide as the poem; however, some - either due to the length of the poem or the orientation of the photograph - require two or three slides. You’ll notice an indicator in the notes accompanying those multiple slides: Slide 1/2 or Slide 2/2, if that‘s the case.
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Here are a few more Poetry-related resources you might like for National Poetry Month - or anytime you want to infuse your classroom with poetry!
Poetry: Mark Doty - A Display of Mackerel
Who would have ever thought that a poem about fish lying in rows could be so melodious? That it would be full of such delicious visual imagery? And who would have thought that a poem about mackerel can teach its readers something about life and about themselves?
Poetry: Burning The Old Year: Close Reading and Analysis
This lesson celebrates the burning of the old and the welcoming of the new. It’s not just for a new school or calendar year, but for any time during the year when you’d like a poem about starting over.
Poetry: Sonnet 97 Close Reading Analysis and Constructed Response
Poetry: Complete Lesson - No Prep! Tarantulas on a Lifebuoy by Thomas Lux
This cool poem brings up the issue of rescuing tarantulas despite the possibility of their showing up again in unexpected locations (like your sock drawer!) Can be used for high school, but is ideal for middle school classrooms.
Keywords for this resource: poetry, poem, bell ringer, writing, quick write, writing response, constructed response, National Poetry Month, images, Common Core, CCSS