I will use the Writing Process with this unit. It is necessary for my students to follow specific guidelines and learn some basic fundamentals in writing poetry, especially since they will have a journal filled with sentences and phrases to write about. The Writing Process and the understanding of it are used in most school districts. It is basically the same for every form of writing. Since poetry is a written format, the writing process strategy should also be used for writing poetry. When using the writing process with my students, it will help them become better writers each time they write their poems. The writing process is a good routine for students to be familiar with. The writing process may be a part of your district literacy standards, so I feel strongly about educators incorporating it in this unit. If you haven't done the writing process with your students, it may be a good time to go through some general yet specific procedures. These procedures are a nice way to acquire great works of poetry and all other forms of writing. Those of you that are familiar with the writing process, just continue to use it with this unit. The Writing Process can be divided into six stages:
This is the journal writing "stuff". These are the sentences, phrases, feelings and inner thoughts that are found in the journals. These incomplete ideas must be developed and figured out through thinking and planning.
The pre-writing stage allows students to make a list of possible ideas where they will need to focus on a topic. In this stage, students will focus on a single feeling or moment. They will think, plan and write everything they may want to say. Once the students have gotten the topic of their poem completed, it is on to the next stage.
Now my students have a piece of work that I will call their "sloppy copy". This of course, is not their final work. In the draft stage, their work will be filled with many errors in spelling, grammar and punctuation. The draft is when they will be able to take a good look at what they've written. My students will find many mistakes in their poems, mistakes are o.k. at this time. In this stage, my students will make a change or two as they improve their poems.
This stage is when students will need to look for ways to improve what they have written. All errors in grammar, spelling and punctuation should be corrected during this stage of the writing process. Make sure the student has expressed himself or herself. Their ideas should flow nicely. This particular stage may take a little longer to get through than the other stages. Proofreading each poem is necessary. These poems are individually expressed, so I will make sure my students read and re-read their poems. Whenever possible, my students will help each other out during this stage. Working in small groups will show them how they can become better readers and writers when it is a whole-class effort.
The published stage of the writing process is the complete paper or final poem. The poem is neat in grammar and appearance. It is ready to be displayed in the classroom or shared with someone special.
I will use these types of poetry to do with my students. They are Acrostic, Couplet, Haiku, Lyric and Free Verse. These poems are great to use with students because they will use adjectives, identifying of syllables, the recognition of poetry format, and the use of stanzas rather than paragraphs. They will use their own prior knowledge. I will also assist my class with words that offer vivid images. Before beginning this unit, my students will be unfamiliar with most of these types of poetry. By the completion of this unit, they will be more appreciative of literature and gain a better understanding of reading and writing poetry.
Free Verse: these poems are without predictable rhyme, rhythm or length of line or stanza.
Lyric Poem: these are poems that express the poet's observations and feelings and often tell of the poet's personal experiences.
Couplet: two lines of poetry that rhyme, it usually has a distinct pattern of rhyme and rhythm.
Acrostic: It is a free verse poem. The first letter of each line, when read in a downward way, forms a word, usually the title and/or subject of the poem. I will do acrostic poetry by using adjectives to correlate with the letters in their first name.
Haiku: a form of poetry that developed in Japan. It is a three-line poem usually consisting of a total of seventeen syllable (5-7-5) sequence. It is a great skill to reinforce the use of syllabication in words. When I do haiku with my class, I will tell them that a haiku poem is unrhymed and has no rhythm. It sometimes captures nature as its subject or has a seasonal influence. A haiku should also suggest a strong thought and feeling.