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Lesson Plan

The Reading Performance: Understanding Fluency Through Oral Interpretation

E-mail / Share / Print This Page / Print All Materials (Note: Handouts must be printed separately)

Grades 6 – 8
Lesson Plan Type Standard Lesson
Estimated Time Five to six 45-minute sessions (depending on the number of students giving oral performances)
Lesson Author

Laura Hofsess

Vernon, Connecticut


International Literacy Association


Materials and Technology






Overhead projector and transparencies of Ice Cream and Autumn Wind

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1. Make an overhead of the two poems Ice Cream and Autumn Wind by Laura Hofsess.

2. Locate and bookmark the websites that you and your students will be using during the lesson and evaluate the sites in terms of readability for your students.

Poets.org. This exhibit created by the Academy of American Poets is an impressive Web resource that includes biographies of more than 200 poets, more than 600 poems online (many of them in audio as well as text), discussion forums, a calendar of poetry-related events, links to numerous poetry-related sites, and multiple search engines. People who register can create notebooks with their favorite poems and other information.

Poetry Writing with Karla Kuskin. In this website, created by Scholastic, Karla Kuskin guides the reader through a poetry writing process. Go through the workshop yourself. Then reflect on the experience. How does the writing of poetry add to the understanding and appreciation of prosody?

Glossary of Poetic Devices. This reference site identifies poetic terms for middle school readers. It is a good supplement to the Poet's Cues handout.

Merriam-Webster OnLine. This dictionary site is designed to help students with the pronunciation and meaning of words.

The Poetry Zone. This interactive poetry website is intended for children, young adults, and anyone interested in poetry. It contains poems written by students, information on well-known children's poets, and some educational resources for teachers.

Electronic Poetry Center. This site, maintained by the State University of New York at Buffalo, is a great place to check out poets, collaborate on a poem, and explore links to sites devoted to the works of individual poets.

The Poetry Archives. This website is a database that archives thousands of copyright-free poems. Their stated goal "is to provide the largest free archive of classical poetry available on the internet with a simple user interface."

American Verse Project. This project is working to make the canon of American poetry texts available to educators and readers of poetry online. The site is described as ". . . a collaborative project between the University of Michigan Humanities Text Initiative and the University of Michigan Press." The project has already assembled an electronic archive of American poetry published prior to 1920.

3. If these websites are inappropriate for your students' reading level, use a search engine to find sites with poems suitable for your students. (Using the names of favorite poets will yield good results from your search.) Make an overhead of the websites you have chosen for your students.

4. Review the Poet's Cues handout. It may be necessary to revise this handout to include only the poetic devices that are part of your grade level curriculum.

5. Print and photocopy the student handouts.

6. Be prepared to help students with the selection of poems. Bookmark or maintain a list of poems on the sites being used that you consider good selections for struggling readers and good selections for students in need of accelerated reading.

7. If you lack expertise with PowerPoint, ask your school's technology coordinator for assistance or invite older students currently enrolled in a technology course to act as peer tutors during the activities.

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