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Lesson Plan

Multipurpose Poetry: Introducing Science Concepts and Increasing Fluency

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Multipurpose Poetry: Introducing Science Concepts and Increasing Fluency

Grades 3 – 5
Lesson Plan Type Standard Lesson
Estimated Time Four 30-minute sessions
Lesson Author

Sarah Dennis-Shaw

Avon, Massachusetts


International Literacy Association



Featured Resources

From Theory to Practice



Poetry can be a fun and unintimidating way for ESL students to develop their oral fluency. In this lesson, students discuss what they know about poetry and then work in small groups to develop a choral reading of two poems about an assigned insect. The poems serve as an introduction to a research investigation (via the Internet) about the insect. Students use a worksheet to compile factual information about the insect and present the information, along with their choral poetry readings to the class.

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research information worksheetResearch Information worksheet: This worksheet provides students with a guide for their research and a place to record information about the insect they are researching.

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Hadaway, N.L., Vardell, S.M., & Young, T.A. (2001). Scaffolding oral language development through poetry for students learning English. The Reading Teacher, 54, 796806.

  • ESL students need frequent opportunities to develop their oral language fluency. Poetry provides a nonthreatening way for students to participate and practice oral fluency.

  • The brevity of poetry provides a scaffold for students to transition into more complicated and longer texts.

  • The rhythm and repetition of poetry provides support for students learning the English language.

  • Poetry provides a "powerful anticipatory set" for the introduction of concepts and content across the curriculum.

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