As mentioned in my introduction, my primary goal of developing student literacy in writing is well aligned with the goals of the New Haven School System. In addition, there are other more specific areas of curriculum that this unit targets.
Throughout my unit, students will be reading, writing, listening, and speaking. The New Haven school district's emphasis on literacy is targeted in all aspects of this unit. Material has been integrated with our social development, art, music, and language arts lessons. The development of confident dramatic speakers is also a key goal. In everything that is presented, vocabulary development will be stressed through the discussion of words unfamiliar to most students. Examination of rhyming lines and internal rhyme will strengthen phonic skills. The discussion of syllabification in achieving rhythm will do the same. The understanding and identification of metaphors and similes will help to illustrate their importance in the elaboration of basic ideas in both poetry and prose. Poetry is a thread that finds its way into both the reading and writing curriculum of all grade levels. Rhyming, which is an essential building block of reading, attracts the interest of most elementary students whether they listen to it or produce their own. Poems of all types, but especially those that rhyme, continue the development of basic reading skills while also providing elementary students with enjoyable pieces to read and often interpret at a much deeper level. These poems provide interesting motivation for discussion, imitation, and even written description and analysis. Hopefully, as this poetry is being read, there also will be some reinforcement of students' previously mastered reading skills, especially for those students who are lacking proficiency in some areas of phonetic awareness.
Although developing the ability to write literate poetry is not as clearly defined as are the areas of narrative and expository writing, poetry is recognized by the New Haven curriculum as an integral part of a child's literacy development.