Poetry Writing

Author: Matthew Tidwell
Editor: Stephanie Nardei

Time: 2 Class Periods
1 hour

Internet Access
Readings from Carl Sandburg (see below websites)

This lesson is for students to apply what they have gained from the study of Carl Sandburg and their poetic analysis. They will be writing a piece of poetry, modeled after Carl Sandburg’s poetry, capturing the experience of a worker they know.

The students will be able to:

  1. Compose a piece of poetry
  2. Share their poem(s) with their colleagues

5.  Students employ a wide range of strategies as they write and use
different writing process elements appropriately to communicate with
different audiences for a variety of purposes.

6.  Students apply knowledge of language structure, language conventions
(e.g., spelling and punctuation), media techniques, figurative language,
and genre to create, critique, and discuss print and non-print texts.

Arizona Standards for Language Arts:
Writing Standard
Strand 3: Writing Applications
Concept 1: Expressive
Expressive writing includes personal narratives, stories, poetry, songs,
and dramatic pieces. Writing may be based on real or imagined events.

Teacher Background
Poetry (from the Greek "πο?ησις," poiesis, a "making" or "creating") is a form of verbal art in which language is used for its aesthetic and evocative qualities in addition to, or in lieu of, its ostensible meaning. Poetry may be written independently, as discrete poems, or may occur in conjunction with other arts, as in poetic drama, hymns or lyrics. Poetry, and discussions of it, has a long history. Early attempts to define poetry, such as Aristotle's Poetics, focused on the uses of speech in rhetoric, drama, song and comedy. [TAKEN FROM WIKIPEDIA]

Resource Websites

Rubistar Website
Rubistar http://rubistar.4teachers.org

Carl Sandburg Poetry
Carl Sandburg on PoetryHunter.com http://www.poemhunter.com/carl-sandburg/poet-6658/
Carl Sandburg’s Poems http://amblesideonline.org/CarlSandburg.shtml
The Poetry of Carl Sandburg http://www.poetry-online.org/sandburg-carl-poetry.htm
Carl Sandburg on Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carl_Sandburg
Carl Sandburg Chicago Poems http://www.bartleby.com/165/

How to write Poetry
Approaches to Poetic Writing http://www.poetrymagic.co.uk/approaches.html
How to write Poetry http://inin.essortment.com/howtowritepoe_rjsm.htm
PoetryExpress http://www.poetryexpress.org/index.php
Resources for Poets http://www.writerswrite.com/poetry/
37 Ways to Write Poetry http://www.poemofquotes.com/articles/ways-to-write-poetry.php
Poetry of Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poetry



1. Have students think of a worker they know. It could be a parent or friend.

2. Students should brainstorm everything that comes to mind when they think of this person. Students can use a cluster diagram to organize their thoughts. Allow students 5-10 minutes to brainstorm their ideas. The teacher should also model this process on the board with a worker of their own.

3. Students should now write a poem based on their subject and utilizing the ideas they developed with the brainstorm. The poem can take many shapes—free verse, stanzas, sonnet, etc. Students should have a working knowledge of these styles. Additionally, depending on the teacher, the poems could include certain poetic devices, such as simile, metaphor, etc.  The poem, however, should be modeled after the poetry of Carl Sandburg.

4. The rest of the class should be given to writing these poems. Tell them they will be presenting their poems to the class.

5. When students return to class the next day with a completed poem, they will be arranged in such a way that has an audience and a presentation space.

6. Students can volunteer to read their poems or the teacher can pick the order of the presentations.

1. After the presentations, the teacher should lead a discussion about the students’ perceptions of the poems they heard and how they compare with those by Carl Sandburg.

2. Students turn in their poems.

The homework associated with this assignment is for the students to finish their poems at home if not completed in class.

Embedded Assessment
This lesson will be assessed based on the poems written by the students. Based on the requirements set by the teacher, a rubric should be used to grade the poetry. The teacher can create one based on criteria the teacher deems important, or the teacher can create on at http://rubistar.4teachers.org




PULSE is a project of the Community Outreach and Education Program of the Southwest Environmental Health Sciences Center and is funded by:

NIH/NCRR award #16260-01A1
The Community Outreach and Education Program is part of the Southwest Environmental Health Sciences Center: an NIEHS Award


Supported by NIEHS grant # ES06694

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Last update: March 7, 2007
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