“Why Poetry?” A Motivational Mini-Unit with Non-fiction Reading & Essays

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1.82 MB   |   13 pages


If you’re tired of trying to convince students why we read poetry, then maybe it’s time to let them discover for themselves why we read and write it!

First, students are introduced to the importance of poems by reading recent, credible articles that explain why poetry is a needed part of the human experience. The articles purposely vary in length, difficulty, and content so that you can allow choice OR differentiate by assigning articles to certain students.

Then, students pick one out of six prompts, conduct additional background research, and write their own argumentative essays to state and defend their opinions about whether or not we need to read and write poetry anymore.

Finally, conduct small or whole class discussions using an activity handout for students to debate their poetry opinions and cast a final ballot to vote on poetry.

This EDITABLE mini-unit is EASILY adaptable to ELA curriculums in grades 7-12:
Middle School (grades 7-8) : Choose from among the provided article links to differentiate to reading levels, then use this essay to teach basic five-paragraph structure, choosing credible sources, and/or beginning use of cited evidence in writing.

High School (grades 9-10) : Teach advanced structural techniques (i.e. Monroe’s Motivated Sequence, Problem-Solution, etc.) in addition to propaganda techniques, logical appeals, opposing arguments, and other advanced persuasion methods. You can also increase expectations for citing and analysis of evidence.

High School (grades 11-12) : Use the tougher articles to evaluate different perspectives, such as teacher viewpoints, cultural perspectives, or historical legacies; ask students to evaluate what it means to be human and why poetry consistently appears in human expression around the world and over time.

This 13-page download includes the following editable documents – see the PREVIEW for more thumbnails!
• A 4-page Teacher’s Guide with suggested Essential Questions, CCSS standards for grades 7-11, “I Can” statements, and a sample calendar.
• A 3-page introduction and directions handout, explaining the purpose of the assignment and all of the requirements for formatting and content
• A 1-page rubric assessing CCSS standards for argumentative writing, research, and language (grammar)
• A 1-page brainstorming graphic organizer to jumpstart writing
• A 1-page sample essay for your class to read and critique as a mentor text
• A list of nine links to recent, credible articles that I suggest reading and using as cited evidence
• A 2-page reading activity graphic organizer to help students comprehend two articles’ content and evaluate the quality of their arguments.
• A 1-page group speaking/discussion activity to use once the essays are written

NOTE: This product is INCLUDED in my Poetry Activity Bundle. Check it out to save!

Last File Update: March 2016

You may also like…

My similar mini-unit about Grammar: Click here to check it out!

My other POETRY products:
Poem of the Week
Poetry Mad Libs (American Literature)
Poetry Mad Libs (British Literature)
Digital Poetry Slam

My other reading materials:
my other literature products: click here to see a list!
my non-fiction products: click here to see a list!

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Total Pages
Answer Key
Rubric only
Teaching Duration
2 Weeks

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“Why Poetry?” A Motivational Mini-Unit with Non-fiction Re
“Why Poetry?” A Motivational Mini-Unit with Non-fiction Re
“Why Poetry?” A Motivational Mini-Unit with Non-fiction Re
“Why Poetry?” A Motivational Mini-Unit with Non-fiction Re
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