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Lesson Plan

Poetry: Sound and Sense

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Grades 9 – 12
Lesson Plan Type Standard Lesson
Estimated Time Five 50-minute sessions
Lesson Author

Carol S. Anderson Gibson

Phoenix, Arizona


International Literacy Association



Featured Resources

From Theory to Practice



Examining great poetry leads to both a greater appreciation for poetry and, if encouraged appropriately, a desire to create original poetry. In this lesson, students share their personal definition of poetry and challenge and revise that definition as they read poems from selected authors. In addition to reading poetry, students listen to poems to examine how the sounds of language are used to create meaning and mood. Students then write their own nonsense poem using common poetic devices, such as alliteration, assonance, and consonance. Finally, students write a descriptive poem, share their poem with the class, and write a reflection of their experience writing their own poems.

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Literary Terms: Have students use this website to find a comprehensive list of literacy terms and their definitions.

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Linaberger, M. (2004). Poetry top 10: A foolproof formula for teaching poetry. The Reading Teacher, 58(4), 366Ė372.

Many teachers are apprehensive about teaching poetry because of their misconceptions about its requirements and their reservations about their own expertise in writing poetry. The task can be less daunting by having students read great poetry, ask questions of the poet, and use the poems as models or inspirations for their own poetry. Many texts are available to help teachers choose poetry that will be accessible to students and to find ideas for teaching poetry in the classroom.

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