Favorite Poetry Unit

Teaching poetry is so much fun and so easy to do when you have the necessary tools! I remember my first year teaching fourth grade, our writing curriculum had nothing for teaching poetry. Luckily, I have always loved to write, especially poems, so I developed my own Poetry Unit. It was incredible to see even my most reluctant writers get excited about sharing their poems...I was inspired! 

The following year, when I moved down to second grade, I knew my Poetry Unit was something I wanted to continue. I was amazed at the rhyme and word choice that my second graders were so cleverly able to produce. This poetry unit continues to be a student (and teacher) favorite year after year!
During our poetry unit, students are introduced to 14 different types of poems over a five week period. I use my five-week pacing guide, but this can easily be adjusted to more or less weeks, depending on how you want to pace your poems. 
Each day, during our writer's workshop poetry block, I follow the same format for every poem. First, I use my Poetry Introduction Page to introduce a new type of poem and show students an example of that type of poem.
Next, students receive the Poem Planning Sheet for the particular poem that I just introduced. This planning sheet helps to walk them through, step-by-step, in how to create their own poem. This sheet also serves as the rough draft, too. Depending on the type of poem (how involved it is) students either stop here for the day, or move onto the final steps.
After the planning sheet page (rough draft) is completed, students have a chance to edit/revise.  I allow them to partner up and read their poems aloud. This often helps them either think of new word choices, or hear any errors aloud. This is where our Student Dictionaries also come in very handy! 
Then, students get to choose from the different final copy papers I have printed out...I like giving them choices. Finally, students write their final copy of the poem and color in any graphics and/or add designs and color.  
Students turn in their rough draft planning sheet to me and place the final copy of their poem in the "On Hold" pocket of their Writer's Workshop Folder
Once our unit is complete, students assemble their own Poetry Portfolio (which is always a favorite display at Open House!). 
I also use these Poetry Portfolios for a writing grade. I have multiple rubrics to choose from for individual poems or for the entire portfolio.
If you're ready to dive right in, click here for the complete Poetry Unit.
Or, you can try out Haiku Poetry with this freebie! 

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