10 Minute Poetry Lesson

A poetry lesson I created for my Teaching Literature course.

October 4, 2007

10 Minute Poetry Lesson

Lesson Focus: Identity

Conceptual Focus: The purpose of this unit is to determine how identities, either as the individual or as a part of a group, are acquired and what a particular identity can say about that person. Specifically we will explore the question of when we think of someone do we think of their name first, or do we have another way to “identify”that person and would it be better to use those “markers” than names.


* Quick Writes

* Vocal reading of poem

* Silent reading of poem

* Discussion

* Charting

* View video (if available)


* Students will demonstrate fluency and comprehension in reading (PDE 1.1.8)

* Students will demonstrate the ability to listen to a reading of the poem then remember and interpret what they heard (PDE1.6.8, NCTE 12)

* Students will understand and be able to interpret the ideas and themes in the poem (PDE 1.1.8)

* Students will understand how the poem’s author and the characters in the video express the same idea (PDE 1.2.8, NCTE 6)

* Students will be able to write a poem using the lesson focus as a theme. Students will also use editing and revision to complete a final draft of the piece (PDE 1.4.8., 1.5.8)

Instructional Materials:

* Post-it

* Markers

* Video (if available)

* Copies of poem


* Students will do the quick writes individually and discuss as a whole class group


1) Introduce the topic of the unit. Ask for volunteers.

2) Have students do a quick write, trying to guess the name of the first volunteer. (.5 min)

3) Quick write on characteristics of the second volunteer. Students must look at this student and name three ways of describing or defining this person. Could be physical appearance, personality traits, etc. (.5 min)

4) Quick write on themselves. Have students write down three characteristics or three things or ways they use to define themselves. (.5 min)

5) Have discussion based upon the student’s guesses. Ask the volunteer if that anyone guessed his or her name. Ask what does that name say about that person. (1 min)

6)Discussion on responses to second volunteer. Why did the students say what they said. Ask volunteer if students responses matched their own. (1.5 min)

6) Read poem aloud. (.5 min)

7) Quick write on the narrator. Have students describe the narrator. What do they know about the narrator. (.5 min)

8) Silent reading of poem. (.5 min)

9) Quick write on what the students now know about the narrator. (.5 min)

10) Discussion on identity. Compare the author’s view of himself and why he’d would be a weed than a flower. What is the narrator trying to say about himself? Is the  really a weed or is this a metaphor? (3 min)

11) Give homework assignment. Have students create name for themselves based on the things they wrote about themselves. Show video as a model (if available).


* Students will be assessed on participation, on completion of the quick writes and on the completion of the homework assignment.

Differentiated instruction:

*Reading allowed


* Poem “Identity” by Julio Noboa

* Movie “Dances with Wolves” (if available)

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