Poetry is a Writer’s Workshop unit that teaches you how to write poetry. If you’re a beginner, this unit will walk you through. If you’re more experienced, this unit will provide lots of ideas and inspiration for writing poetry with children and teens.
You can use this unit in any order in your Writer’s Workshop experience. You can also use it more than once, trying new explorations and getting new inspiration each time. We recommend you spend about a month on Poetry, but the exact time is flexible and totally up to you.
You will learn some poetry writing skills like onomatopoeia, stanzas, rhyme schemes, being careful with word choice, and how to brainstorm ideas. Then you will learn how to write formula poems like cinquain, limericks, and haiku. Finally, you will get to try out free verse poetry and throw out all the rules.
Like all Writer’s Workshop units, this one gives you about three weeks to practice poetry and play with words and then asks you to create a final published project for grading during the fourth week. The project is a small book of your poems, or perhaps just one poem, polished and ready for an audience.
Step 1: Mini-Lesson
There are sidebars on every page that offer mini-lesson choices. These mini-lessons should take about ten minutes or less to complete. They include things like practice coming up with rhyming words or a poem to read and analyze together. You do one mini-lesson per day at the start of your Writer’s Workshop time.
Step 2: Exercises
The bulk of the unit is made up of exercises. You will spend 30 minutes to an hour or more (the time is flexible) working on one exercise for the day. The next day you will continue working on your exercise, repeat the exercise, or move on to another. The exercises in this unit prompt you to either do pre-writing for poetry or to write a poem. The exercises are not graded and can be kept private by the writer if desired.
Step 3: Writing Project
The writing project is your final project, a book of “published” poems that will be graded. You will take one or several poems through the writing process including pre-writing, drafting, revising, editing, and publishing.
The published poems are then read to or shared with an audience of family, friends, or anyone else you want. The shared poems are universally applauded. Then the parent grades the work with the Poetry rubric as a guide, adding useful comments to help the writer grow.
This unit comes with a Printable Pack to go with many of the exercises and mini-lessons.
Supplemental Links, Videos, & Resources
There are Pinterest boards, weblinks, and a YouTube video playlist that go with this lesson on a separate page for Writer’s Workshop.