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Lesson Plan

In the Poet's Shoes: Performing Poetry and Building Meaning

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Grades 6 – 8
Lesson Plan Type Unit
Estimated Time Four 30-minute sessions to review poetry and complete the analysis; five 20-minute sessions to prepare for the presentation
Lesson Author

Beth O'Connor

Westfield, Massachusetts


International Literacy Association



From Theory to Practice



Through the use of dramatic reading and the exploration of Internet resources, sixth through eighth grade students build a greater understanding of poetry and the poet's voice. Further, the experience requires students to analyze and develop their own interpretation of a poem’s meaning and representation through performance. Extension activities involve students giving an oral poetry performance of their own poetry.

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McMaster, J.C. (1998). "Doing" literature: Using drama to build literacy. The Reading Teacher, 51, 574–584.

  • Drama is a useful tool in developing affect in readers; it creates interest and motivation.

  • Drama provides the opportunity for students to develop fluency through the repeated reading of a text selected for performance.

  • Through drama, students develop a deeper understanding of text because it requires them to determine emphasis and interpretation.

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