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Teaching Grammar with Poetry
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Contact: 937. 775.3534
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Nancy Mack Logo Dr. Nancy Mack
Associate Professor of English
Wright State University
451 Millett Hall
3640 Colonel Glenn Highway
Dayton, Ohio 45435

Teaching Grammar with Poetry:
Lesson Plan Headings

When you write up your lesson plan, use these headings exactly as they are numbered and worded.
1.  Source Poem or Picture Book
For a poem:
List the title of the poem and the author as well as the title of the source book or web site.  Be sure to include a copy of this poem in your portfolio.
For a picture book:
Name the title and author of a specific picture book that you will read aloud to the students that you used to create your picture book.
For an original poem or picture book:
Include a copy of your poem or book.  Be sure that grammar concept appears on almost every page or line.

2.  Modeling Activity
Give the SINGLE line or sentence pattern from the teacher example that the students must imitate individually and share in class for practice. 
           Create a clear format for this line or sentence.  Include blanks with a description underneath in parentheses of what is to be written in the blank.  Be sure to specify how many words they should compose and if they must use special suffixes like -ed, -ly, or -ing. 
           You should require a particular topic for the whole class so the individual lines can be combined to form a group poem. 
           Tell how the students will immediately share their single lines.   This activity should be IMITATION only; do not teach parts of speech or bother with grammar terminology until after the imitation exercise is over.  Variations are fine.  The purpose of this activity is to check to see that the students can consciously imitate the pattern.

3.  Grammar Minilesson
Limit yourself to one major part of speech or concept. name the grammatical parts and or structures that you are teaching. 
           You must give the attributes of this concept by pointing out:
         How it Functions or What it Does to the Sentence.
         What Questions it Answers.
         How it Affects the Meaning.
           You may also define this concept by:
         Listing the Examples in the Source Poem or Picture Book.
         Giving an Analogy or Clever Memory Device.
         A Visual Activity
         A Drama Activity. (These activities should be brief .)
           Include in your discussion any conventions about spelling or exceptions to the rule.  
           Cite the handbook or web site source that you check for you information.  
           Be sure to double check your concept with me, the writing center, a linguist, the glossary in the Weaver book, a handbook, or the dictionary.

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4.  Prewriting Activity
Do not expect students to start on this writing activity cold.  Help them to come up with an initial idea and expansion details and word choices.  Provide a prewriting activities in which students will brainstorm, list, create word banks, cluster, or fill out a graphic organizer.

5.  Sharing a Teacher Model
Include a copy of your published poem or picture book in your portfolio.

6.  A Guided Writing Format
Clearly state the basic requirements for the project.  For the sake of student choice, name the broad topic that you will require students to use for their poem or picture book. 
           Specify the number of repeating lines and the format for each of these lines.  You should indicate what types of words you want in the blanks.  You may name the parts of speech that you taught in the grammar minilesson, for other blanks you may tell the type of information that you want such as place phrases, descriptive words, time words, etc. 
          Include any requirements for introductory or concluding lines.
           Your poem must be 12 or more lines in length.  Your picture book must have 12 or more lines on 6 or more pages.

7.  A Revision Minilesson
This minilesson should focus on the plot of the story, descriptive details, or word choice. Tell what specific writing feature you will have students improve in their draft. 
           You must use a before and after example from your own text to teach the concept. 
           Tell how you will have students find places to make improvements in their draft.

8.  Publishing Project
Describe the visuals similar to the ones that you did in the teacher model that you will require that the students use of their projects.  Certainly, students can do more than you require at home, but you must specify one art medium for which you are providing materials in class.  Specify particular materials, paper type, or art supplies that will be needed for this project.  You can select one of the following:  clip art, fonts, magazine, picture, photographs, stamps, stickers, a particular pop-up, yarn, templates, shapes, glitter, etc.  Remember that hese should relate to the topic for the writing.  You could also select a school and grade level to be the audience for your studentsí writing.

9.  Assessment Criteria
Provide a list of six or more primary traits that you will use to grade each poem or picture book. 
            You must also include a list of process activities that you are requiring like prewriting, drafting, and revising.  You may permit student to do something special for extra credit or bonus points.

10.  Curriculum Objectives
Make a list of two or three curriculum objectives or outcomes that will be accomplished with this total lesson plan.  You should include a grammar objective.  For example: Students will demonstrate that they know what a noun is by writing a poem with six nouns.  Students will add specific details to their writing.

Nancy Mack
Wright State University

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