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Check It Out: March Instructional Challenge

Your monthly news from the OPS Library Services Staff

Prepare for Poetry Month

Poetry Lesson Ideas for Poetry Month

Concrete Poetry: where the words form the shape of the subject   

By Guest Contributor Julianne Johnson

This format appeals to many students as it combines creativity in writing and drawing. Students who feel intimidated by a page full of blank lines may see one outline as less daunting. While the writer can incorporate any words or phrases appropriate for their topic, more guidelines can be added to support a particular language arts skill. For example, students can be required to focus on alliterative phrases or adjectives.  

Tips for differentiation:  

  • Provide printed outlines of common items such as star, heart, pets, etc. for students to choose from in addition to free-drawing the outline of their subject. 

  • Look for and encourage large outlines that need few details. Students will be able to write their poem around the edges more easily. 

  • Record 2-4 words that younger students brainstorm to copy in a pattern around their shape. 

  • Students can organize the order of their poetic phrases on lined paper first, then copy it around their shape. 

  • Advanced students can add lines of verse both around and inside the shape. 


The Important Poem: (template

By Guest Contributor Julianne Johnson

The Important Book by Margaret Wise Brown shows an easy-to-follow pattern. This poem is also a great way to understand students better and connect with them. You will gain an insight as to what they value and why they do so.  Creating this poem whole group first is a great opportunity to learn that everyone can see a different aspect of a topic as important. Students are challenged to reflect on all the ideas they brainstorm and single out one that they feel is worth repeating for the final line of the poem.  

Tips for differentiation: 

  • Above is a link to a student template I made that you can print 

  • Have students list their ideas on a separate paper first. Then, have them number the ideas from most to least important. 

  • Increase or decrease the number of important statements required. 

  • Allow students to use speech to text in a word document on their iPads. 


Poetry Choice Board 

By Guest Contributor Robin Walker

I have compiled some options for creating poetry, or playing with words, online.

Here are links for students to use - share this pdf with them

Here is an editable PowerPoint for teachers to change up, then share a new pdf with your students. 


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