The Bat Poet by Randall Jarrell is an engaging story and can be used to bring students more fully into their writing community. Jarrell's bat poet brings us themes of community, point of view, and finding your own voice. The book is fairly short and simple to read but can be enjoyed on many levels, making it perfect for a class of diverse learners. Use this unit in the early fall when you are forming your class community, or in the spring when you need a fresh outlook. It also offers an excellent opportunity to integrate natural science activities with your language arts.
This can be used with classes ranging from 4th to 6th grade. It uses a variety of methods to engage students' literacy in a number of areas: reading pleasure and comprehension, mechanics and grammar, in particular as applied to the use of dialogue and description, elements of poetry and prose, and use of voice and style. These lessons will segue nicely into a poetry unit, which I have always liked to teach in the spring.