Corona Virus Acrostic Poems Perk Up Distance Learning (updated 2021)

Students create acrostic poems to document Covid-19 My students learned at home from March 17 through May 14, 2020 when the school year officially ended. As part of their distance learning back then, I asked students to write a couple of paragraphs every other day or so for a “Life in the Time of Corona”Continue reading “Corona Virus Acrostic Poems Perk Up Distance Learning (updated 2021)”

Robert Frost: Something There is That Doesn’t Love a Pandemic

The coronavirus and Robert Frost’s “Mending Wall” Holed up at home at my dining room table, I’m continuing with my lesson planning as scheduled during our two-week school closing. After our recent Ernest Hemingway unit concluded last week, my plan was to introduce my juniors to Robert Frost. Lucky them. Frost’s poetry is poignant, honest,Continue reading “Robert Frost: Something There is That Doesn’t Love a Pandemic”

Steal Like an Artist by Austin Kleon

Happy Friday Eve! This is a quick pic of Austin Kleon’s book,Steal Like An Artist. In this book, Kleon, the inventor of black-out poetry, discusses creativity, the values of unplugging from technology to create, and tips for producing more. He offers up some solid ideas that I found particularly helpful. Here are two: Don’t throwContinue reading “Steal Like an Artist by Austin Kleon”

Treasured Object Poems: A Favorite Poetry Activity for All Grades

In this post: Treasured Object Poems Mentor Texts and Lesson Tips Need a fun poetry activity to use with your students? One that will also hone their sensory language and revision skills? Show them how to write a short free-verse poem about an object they value. Paying tribute to a precious personal item encourages themContinue reading “Treasured Object Poems: A Favorite Poetry Activity for All Grades”

Sometimes Poetry Can Teach Better than I Can

Take word choice, for example Last December, when I read a student’s second draft of their Treasured Object poem and saw that it contained the word “get” four times, I thought Really? Get? Four times?  It surprised me because I thought I had taught not only sentence variety, but word variety as well. It’s goodContinue reading “Sometimes Poetry Can Teach Better than I Can”

Headline poetry for high school students

Watch older students create stunning expressions from everyday language This year, for the first three days of school, I again indulged in headline poetry with my students. It was a new activity for my new high school students and I was glad for that. (I’ve introduced headline poetry to middle schoolers in the past. ClickContinue reading “Headline poetry for high school students”

When Anxious, Depressed Students Stare into Space

Don’t assume they aren’t listening Last spring in my middle school language arts classes, I taught the Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave for the eighth year. It’s the autobiography of Douglass, who was born into slavery. In his formative years, he experienced an epiphany: literacy equaled freedom. As a result,Continue reading “When Anxious, Depressed Students Stare into Space”

“Where I’m From” Poems

My All-Time Favorite Poetry Activity (updated Aug. 2021) “Where I’m From” poems are perfect for going back to school! Read on to get acquainted with this awesome poem that every teacher I know raves about. Have you heard of George Ella Lyon? She’s an American writer and teacher from Kentucky who wrote a poem severalContinue reading ““Where I’m From” Poems”

A Poetry Project that Draws Connections Between the Fires at Triangle Waist Co. and World Trade Center

The Essential Questions: How can history inform public policy? How do people prevent past tragedies from reoccurring? Based on those essential questions (developed with help from our school’s art teacher, Joan Edgmon, by the way), I’m sure that some may think I’ve forgotten that I teach Language Arts. They may even wonder if I’m actuallyContinue reading “A Poetry Project that Draws Connections Between the Fires at Triangle Waist Co. and World Trade Center”

Headline Poetry is So Much Fun!

It’s already my favorite back-to-school activity For the first week of school, my seventh- and eighth-graders created poetry made up of words and phrases found in newspapers and magazines. I found the idea on NCTE’s website, which offers lesson plan ideas. I also accessed this site where I found this beautiful quote that captures, forContinue reading “Headline Poetry is So Much Fun!”