Brief outline for half-day poetry workshop. As with any lesson plan, feel free to modify as needed to fit your intended audience. Let’s get lost in some words!
8-18 years old
Reading models, structured exercises, editing/revision period, and group readings
Supplies and Materials
Text materials (old magazines, old books, brochures, manuals, newspapers–anything you don’t mind writing on or cutting out), paper, pencils, pens, markers/colored pencils, highlighters, scissors, construction paper, glue.
Students learn to recognize the words readily available in our everyday routines and how to use those words to craft poems about the everyday. They’ll also be able to define found poetry and identify the difference between strong and weak words.
Define Found Poetry and Examples
- Define Found Poetry→ poems that take existing words or texts and refashion them into a new poem.
- Read Kelly Nelson’s “Inkling” a found poem discovered in Pablo Neruda’s “Thinking, Tangling Shadows”
What do you think is important when using someone else’s work to create a poem?
- Allow class to brainstorm, however guide them towards the following points:
- Don’t rewrite the poem word for word
- Think about what the original poem is saying–can you expand upon that? Or create an entirely new meaning?
- Give the original author credit if able
Difference between strong and weak words
- Strong words = verbs, nouns, and adjectives
- Weak words = articles, prepositions, adverbs
- Each student will be given a sheet of text (magazine article, brochure, instruction manual, text page, etc.) and asked to highlight or mark any word that interests them.
- After 5-10 minutes, students will write their own poem using the highlighted word. Students are encouraged to keep the words in order but play with spacing, breaking words apart, etc.
- Every student will be given the same text material and asked to highlight or underline words that interest them. Keeping the words in order, students will create a poem.
- Once complete, students will swap their poem with a partner and identify ways in which their neighbor used the text similarly or differently than they did.
- Discuss as a group if there were any trends in how the words from the text were used. What could this potentially mean?
- Students will be given text materials (magazines, newspapers, brochures, text book pages, etc.), scissors, glue, and coloring pencils/markers
- Students will cut out words from the text materials and glue them onto construction or computer paper in a poem.
- Students are encouraged to swap words with neighbors, cut and paste pictures, or draw their own pictures.