Poetry Mini Lesson: draft #1

Grade & Setting: Four third-graders in an EC resource setting (30 minutes per day).

Purpose: To submerge students in a wide variety of poetry and poets; specifically, free verse poetry in an effort to redefine their understandings and expectations of poetry.

Hook: Ask students to think about their experiences with poetry.

  • Do they like reading it?
  • Have they ever read it?
  • Have they ever tried to write it?
  • Do they have a favorite poem?
  • If they don’t like it, why? What do they not like?

After students have had time to process, provide students with black paper and chalk in order to begin a Chalk Talk. Students will silently write their feelings and experiences with poetry in chalk; engaging with their classmates through conversation on paper.

(For more on Chalk Talk)

Poetry Reading: During this time we want to engage students in a poetry read aloud. We have selected poems from

  • All the Small Poems, Valerie Worth
  • Firefly July, Paul B. Janeczko
  • Forest Has a Song, Amy Ludwig VanDerwater
  • and other selected mentor texts.

Exploration: After reading 6-7 poems that were purposefully and intentionally selected, students will have an opportunity to browse a wide selection of poets and poems in a book browse. During this time, texts will be available for them to flip through, read, and enjoy; further allowing them to build a self-motivated love for poetry.

Poetry Heart Maps: We will provide the materials necessary to create a poetry heart map. This will be a place for students to think through the places, people, and things that they are inspired by. This is a source for students to come back to again and again as they begin to write poetry. We will model the creation of a heart map and then guide students through making their own with support as necessary.

Reflection: Students will complete an “exit ticket” identifying one new thing they learned about poetry during our time together.


2 thoughts on “Poetry Mini Lesson: draft #1

  1. Sonya, I love how you plan on introducing poetry to your students. Since you are gearing this to older students in an EC class, they are very likely to have some sort of feelings about poetry, and with you asking them these questions, you are allowing them to open up and be honest before starting anything. For me this would be a great way to break down some of those thoughts before diving into more poetry. And, I love the idea of “chalk talk.” What a great way to get them excited!


  2. Sonya, I really like how well thought out and organized your mini lesson draft is! I appreciate the exploration time you provide for your students to simply flip through, read, and actually enjoy poetry on the first day. Making time for exploration will definitely influence your students love for poetry. I especially LOVE your idea of incorporating Chalk Talk within your lesson! What a unique and engaging way for your third grade students to express their feelings and experiences with poetry. This is such a creative way for your students to *silently* be able to collaborate with each other! Also, thanks for providing the link to Chalk Talk. I noticed that we are working with a similar population – I am working with third grade students within a self-contained classroom for my poetry unit…so I may look into incorporating Chalk Talk within a poetry lesson of mine!


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