Poetry by far is my favorite kind of communication.  A poem can be as complex as a haiku or as simple as two lines of pros. Our first project is going to be a short one but the product will be beautiful.  We are going to learn about English Sonnets, Odes, Haikus, and free verse poems.  We are going to analyze poems from a variety of poets.  The primary source of our poetry project will come from The Seagull Reader: Poems.  We are not going to read the entire book.  We are only going to read poems that are appropriate for the 6th grade audience.  If you are interested in buying the book for personal enjoyment, the link can be found here (as always I recommend buying the book used to save some cash!)

After we learn about different types of poetry we are going to write and critique our own poems and make poetry tiles.  You will pick your best poetry sample (This can be an entire poem, if it fits or it can be your best stanza in your best poem). Your poetry tile will be displayed in the 6th grade hallway and  will look something like this:

This above photo is my example.  I must admit, the poem in the photo is not my own.  It belongs to one of my favorite poets, Pablo Neruda.  Students will not be allowed to use someone else’s poem on their photo.  Again, what you see above is only an example and is not going up because it does not follow the above rule.

We will grow as poets by following the 6 traits of writing and following some of the guidelines that can be found in The Seagull Reader: Poems.  Let the Journey begin!!!

The Speaker: Who is the speaker? Well it depends.  There is one very important rule we must follow that will ensure our classroom is a safe place for us poets.  Here is the rule…. You can never assume that the speaker of the poem is who the poem is about.  There will be times when we will know exactly who the speaker is but we want to leave room for people who want to remain anonymous, anonymous.  Think about how wrong you would be in assuming the poem written on top of my photo is about me! (Again, that poem belongs to the great Pablo Neruda)

Tone: The tone in a poem is the same as tone in speech.  By this time your lives you can tell when someone is speaking to you with an angry voice, sad voice, excited voice.   Poetry works the same way.  The hard thing is that there are no facial cues or in some cases oral cues to what the tone of a poem is.   Here is an example that can be found in The Seagull reader: Poems

                    Example 1: how are you doing”
                                             “I’m doing all right, I guess.”

Compare example 1 with example 2

Example 2:  “How are you doing?” he asked lightly.
I’m doing all right,” She said slowly, with a resigned look on her face.  “I guess”

Isn’t it easier to read the sarcastic tone in Example 2?

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