Teaching Poetry - elementary level lesson on "Ocean Poetry"

Below is a handout I created for a lesson on teaching poetry. We studied poems about the ocean because it went along with the science unit the students were doing. They're all just about finished with their poems and I will be creating a class book for them b the end of the week, I hope.


NAME:________________________________
OCEAN POETRY NOTES

Poetry can be described or defined in many ways. A good way to put it is “poetry is the art of language.”

If you compare a poem to a painting, you can say:
-the page is the canvas
-the words are the paints
-the poet is the painter
-the reader is the viewer of the painting

When you look at a painting you can notice lots of different things:
-the size of the painting
-the types of paint used: oil, water color, etc
-the colors used in the painting
-the brush strokes: thick and bold, delicate and thing
-what is in the painting: a portrait, still-life, a scene, something abstract
-what the painting is meant to do: show a scene, express an idea, make you think about something in particular

When you read a poem you can notice lots of different things as well. You can think about:
-the sounds of words: the hard “k”, soft “s”, long vowels, short vowels, rhyme or slant rhyme
-the rhythm of the words: emphasis on some syllables and not others
-the pattern of the words: they could be in a formal way, like a haiku or limerick; they have a pattern but not in a particular form; or it could be free verse
-how it looks on the page: long lines or short, line breaks, stanza breaks, capital letters, punctuation
-the meaning of the words: they could describe an image, tell a story, make a collage of thoughts or scenes, send a message

You have read three poems that are, in one way or another, about the ocean. “The World Below the Brine” by Walt Whitman describes lots of images and scenes from the ocean. “I Started Early” by Emily Dickinson is a made up story about going to the ocean. “Poem (A Nothing Day)” by James Schuyler describes a real life scene at the ocean and the thoughts of the poet about the scene.

Your assignment is to write a poem about the ocean. You can approach it in any way you like. Here are some ideas:

-describe an image or several images
-tell a story, real or imagined: a day at the beach, a boat trip, talk to a seahorse, pretend you know a mermaid
-write the lyrics to an ocean song
-use a particular form, like an acrostic or haiku
-write about one thing and describe it in detail
-make a found poem: look through a non-fiction book about oceans and pick out your favorite words and use them in your poem

Here’s some guidelines for writing a poem:

DRAFT your poem on scrap paper
REVISE your poem – re-read it on your own, share it with a friend and be open to suggestions and questions, and read it aloud to yourself
EDIT for correct spelling, usage, punctuation and grammar

When your poem is ready, you will write it on the piece of paper provided. First write it out in pencil, then trace over it in marker and decorate it in marker. When decorating your page, please keep in mind that the class book we make of your poems will be in black and white only.

Ocean Words

WHITMAN
brine
lichens
coral
gluten
aliment
sluggish
existences
disporting
flukes
leaden
passions
pursuits
thence
sphere
DICKINSON
frigates
hempen
presuming
bodice
SCHUYLER
spruce
starch
asters
elegance
POETRY VOCAB
imagery
personification

Popular Posts