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Teacher Resources by Grade
|1st - 2nd||3rd - 4th|
|5th - 6th||7th - 8th|
|9th - 10th||11th - 12th|
What is Poetry? Contrasting Poetry and Prose
|Grades||6 – 8|
|Lesson Plan Type||Standard Lesson|
|Estimated Time||Four 45-minute sessions|
Studying poetry creates rich opportunities to encourage critical reading and thinking, as students analyze how poetry differs from prose in structure, form, purpose, and language. This lesson begins with a quick-write and a general discussion of the essential question What is poetry? Students are then reminded that different texts require different responses from readers, and to illustrate the differences they explore a poem and a prose selection on the same topic. Students discuss the two texts in cooperative groups, using a list of guiding questions. Each group then develops a list of descriptive statements about poetry, and the groups share their statements during a whole-class discussion that reconsiders the original question.
TP-CASST Poetry Analysis: This handout presents a useful strategy for understanding poetry.
What is Poetry? Contrasting Prose and Poetry: Student groups use the guiding questions on this handout to contrast prose and poetry.
ReadWriteThink Venn Diagram: This interactive tool is used to compare and contrast poetry and prose texts.
Pitcher, S., Martinez, G., Dicembre, E., Fewster, D., & McCormick, M. (2010). The literacy needs of adolescents in their own words. Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, 53(8), 636–645.
- The literacy needs of adolescents are greater today than in previous generations; therefore, reading instruction must focus on learning to apply reading strategies to a variety of texts.
Peskin, J. (1998). Constructing meaning when reading poetry: An expert-novice study. Cognition & Instruction, 16(3), 235–264
- There are many elements differentiating poetry and prose that place greater demands on the reader including differences in language, syntax, and structure.
- The appreciation of poetry increases when readers have an understanding of the unique conventions of poetry. More experienced readers of poetry have developed schemata for guiding them through poetic texts.