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Teacher Resources by Grade
|1st - 2nd||3rd - 4th|
|5th - 6th||7th - 8th|
|9th - 10th||11th - 12th|
Poetry from Prose
|Grades||3 – 5|
|Lesson Plan Type||Standard Lesson|
|Estimated Time||Three 50-minute sessions|
Yankton, South Dakota
Students compose found and parallel poems based on a descriptive passage they have chosen from a piece of literature they are reading. They first work in small groups to brainstorm words to describe concrete objects and then arrange their words from most descriptive to least descriptive. They then use their knowledge of descriptive text to select a descriptive passage from a book they are reading. They pick out words, phrases and lines from the prose passage then arrange and format the excerpts to compose their own poems. This process of recasting the text they are reading in a different genre helps students become more insightful readers and develop creativity in thinking and writing.
- Found Poem Instructions: This handout explains the process for creating a found poem from a piece of prose.
- Word Mover Student Interactive: Students can create found poems from Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" speech using this online tool.
One of the strongest ways to teach students about how poets and poetry works is to encourage them to write their own poetry. As Dunning and Stafford explain, the advantage of found poems is that "you don't start from scratch. All you have to do is find some good language and ‘improve' it" (3). These two teachers note that "poems hide in things you and others say and write. They lie buried in places where language isn't so self-conscious as ‘real poetry' often is. [Writing found poems] is about keeping your ears and eyes alert to the possibilities in ordinary language " (3).