This unit is designed to get even the most reluctant students into poetry. This unit is composed of three elements:
1) Students read 30 poems (Poetry Booklet) written by famous poets throughout the ages. William Shakespeare meets Maya Angelou meets Shel Silverstein in this part of the unit. Students read and analyze poetry for figurative language, rhyme scheme, syllables, meaning, and mood (Poem Analysis). These poems are placed in a tournament (like March Madness) and students vote on which one is better, writing defense statements throughout (I like "Poem A" more than "Poem B" because...). The poems battle through six rounds until there is a champion poem (for each class period).
2) Students write 9 types/styles of poetry, leaning about syllable counting (Haikus), rhyming (Limericks), and meeting a mood (I Feel). Students write multiple of each kind to spur creative juices. Students then choose only FOUR poems to include on their own page of the grade level poetry project. The teacher makes copies (if applicable) of each page and binds them so each student receives a book of poetry (Cover, Table of Contents, About this Book). The champion poems from the tournament receive a page.
3) Students present their poetry in a coffeehouse setting. They select one poem and read it in front of the class. Then, after all have read, cookies and hot chocolate can be served (if possible). Students then have an "open mic" to read more of their poems. They are encouraged to get up there and read. Many rush back up.
All three components of this unit are included in the folder. Students cheer for their favorite poems in the tournament, gain a solid understanding of poetic structure in their writing, and gain speaking skills in the coffeehouse.
Also included in this folder, as an optional assignment, is notes and a project on Figurative Language. This works well with poetry as an introductory level.