Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Poetry: Ordinary to Poetic

As you are writing poetry in your classrooms, it might be fun to try something new. The lesson I will share with you today is all about how you look at things. Just observing the every day normal things around us can turn us into wonderful poets.  Try this and see what you think!

Lesson: Poetry—Ordinary to Poetic
Material: paper to write on or notebook

T.Point: Poets write with poetic language not ordinary language.
You have been working on poetry and have a sense of what poems sound like.  One of the things poetry does is that it helps us look at the world in a new way and describe it like no one has before.  Today, we’re going to write a poem together that tries to do just that. 
Let’s look at something together---how about the trees outside the window here?  [On a chart draw a line down the middle. On top left write Ordinary and on the right Poetry.] 

            Look at the trees and tell me the first words that come into your minds.  Poets often begin their poems this way with “anybody’s words”.  [Write down words such as: green, tall, leaves, old.] 

            Now we’ll read those words together.  Do they sound like a poem?  NO!  This is what poets do.  They write a few words down, and then they reread it and sometimes realize that they have to go back and resee.

            Now, let’s look at the tree again, even more closely.  What kind of green is it?  The green of the ocean?  How old is it?  [Write down what they say: trees are as green as limes; majestic giants; their leaves are jewels; historic recorders of time.]

            Now, we’ll read these words.  Do they sound more like poetry?  Yes, because we looked at them with poetic eyes.
            Now I want you to choose an interesting object to look at—either out the window or in the classroom.  When you have your object turn and tell your elbow buddy.

Now at your seat start a new paper.  Under ordinary describe the object using the first words that come into your mind.  Then under poetic transform these descriptions into poetry by using metaphor and simile or describing its exact details.

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