Sunday, March 03, 2013

Tool #5: Shape and Form (Post #8)

Welcome back to my blog post series: Journey into Poetry Land. This is post #8 in the series. Post #1 is on All Things Upper Elementary of which I am a contributor. Read it by clicking HERE. The rest are here on my own blog.

I knew because of my desire to focus on 6 main types of poetry, that I would not be spending too much time on this tool at this lesson. We took one full lesson and made notations about each of the 6 forms of poetry that I was going to focus on and then we discussed "shape".

When I asked my students about "shape" the rattled off a bunch of geometric shapes.I knew that this wouldn't be as easy as it seemed, but, I also realized that I didn't really expect them to know much about it either. But, I had a plan!

I pulled out many different examples from my mentor texts and put various pages under the document camera. As a class we talked about the "white space" on the page, and guessed at why the author had made the decision to break a line where he/she did.

This was a very eye opening experience for my kiddos. Most had not stopped to think how breaking a line at different spot could affect the flow, the meaning, or the tone of the poem.

After looking at many examples from mentor texts, we looked back over our own examples that we had been writing in our journals and shared with our neighbors what we had written and why.

So, even though there is not a lot of eye-candy on this page to share with you, I would strongly encourage you to ensure the students get the opportunity to look at and discuss how "white space" affects poetry.

Happy Teaching!
-Mr. Hughes

Tomorrow will be the final post on the tools of poetry. Then I will address how I taught the 6 forms I shared with my class. Then I will finish up this series with explaining my Poetry Anthology project and how I graded all 60 sets of 20 pages- WOW!. So stay tuned for the grand finale coming in the next couple of weeks.


  1. Can't wait to see what's coming next!!! Good luck with all that grading!

    1. Sarah-
      Thanks for stopping by! I appreciate you following this journey. I am excited to continue to share how the unit ended! And thanks for the cheering on of grading the anthologies- it was a definite experience! Have a great day and stop by again soon.


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