This is a modified version of literature circles and can be used for any poem. This download includes 6 different student response sheets with instructions and 17 example poems for study. You can also purchase this product as a part of my discounted Poetry Bundle.
This product can be used for one day or several weeks! My classes are 50 minutes long and usually use the assignment as a two week unit. If you print this file once, you have student handouts for 2 days. I collect student work daily, so I'd recommend printing and passing out new handouts throughout the unit.
I put students in groups of six; I usually group them based on interest and give each group poems on a specific topic: love, nature, life's struggles, sports, or war. The example poems provided here correspond to those topics. Due to copyright, I cannot reprint all the poems I use, but you can search for poems by topic on Poets.org.
I project the following instructions up on the board:
You will be working in groups of 6 to analyze and interpret a set of poems on a specific topic. Each group member will have a specific job, and each group member will receive an individual grade. Everyone must work together in order for this assignment to be completed!
Agenda for each day:
Warm-up/ get settled (3 minutes)
Each person reads the poem silently (3 minutes)
Someone in the group reads the poem aloud (3 minutes)
Each group member will work on their individual task (20 minutes)
Sharing/ Group discussion lead by discussion director (10 minutes)
Journal individually (10 minutes)
Journaling at the end of each period helps students reflect, and also provides some buffer time: students who finish early can spend more time journaling, students who finish a little later can journal individually at home. You could give them the simple prompt to reflect on the group work, or ask them to make connections between the poems and their own life.