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Lesson Plan

The Magnetism of Language: Parts of Speech, Poetry, and Word Play

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The Magnetism of Language: Parts of Speech, Poetry, and Word Play

Grades 6 – 8
Lesson Plan Type Standard Lesson
Estimated Time Seven 50-minute sessions
Lesson Author

Barbara Faulkner

Granite Falls, North Carolina


International Literacy Association



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From Theory to Practice



Adjectives, adverbs, nouns, and interjections: students will get a grammar overload in this lesson! Grammar can serve as a jumping-off point for exploring language. This lesson extends students' knowledge of parts of speech and encourages them to look critically at how language functions. Students begin with a review of the parts of speech. Using Lewis Carroll's poem "Jabberwocky," students look closely at the nonsensical words to identify their parts of speech and meaning. After experimenting with the Word Mover mobile application, they create their own magnetic poetry kits, which they use to both revise and reinterpret Carroll's poem and write their own original poems.

Lesson originally published in March 2007. Revised October 2012 by Christy Simon, NCTE staff.

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  • Word Mover: Students can use this mobile application to help them create their own poetic masterpieces.

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Roberts, S.K. (2002). Taking a technological path to poetry prewriting. The Reading Teacher, 55, 678687.

  • Roberts says about online magnetic poetry sites, "the engaging visuals replicate the idea of magnets on the refrigerator, so students are pleased with quick results."
  • Writing is a journey that takes place in many phases. The computer can be used for all the stages of writing, from prewriting to the finished product.


Pikulski, J.J., & Chard, D.J. (2005). Fluency: Bridge between decoding and reading comprehension. The Reading Teacher, 58(6), 510519.

  • Students need to be "familiar with the syntax or grammatical function of the words and phrases they are reading and with their meanings."

  • It is best to recognize words on sight. But, if that's not possible, having strategies on hand to aid with decoding and comprehension is important. Knowledge of the parts of speech is one such strategy.


Bloodgood, J.W., & Pacifici, L.C. (2004). Bringing word study to intermediate classrooms. The Reading Teacher, 58(3), 250263.

    "Students can become excited about language and how it works if the topic is presented in an active and engaging manner." Thus, word play and exploration is an important facet of a language arts program.


Richek, M.A. (2005). Words are wonderful: Interactive, time-efficient strategies to teach meaning vocabulary. The Reading Teacher, 58(5), 414423.

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