It can be tough in the weeks right before a holiday break for teachers to keep students engaged. Try this poetry lesson for middle school students to keep them working until the break and tick off the state indicators for poetry.
Make Poetry Fun For the Holidays
The days before holiday breaks such as Christmas, Thanksgiving or Easter can make the students antsy. Frankly, they are excited to have a break from school, and they have their minds on things other than the items on the state curriculum standards and indicators. Teachers can focus their students' energy on poetry and the holidays with this lesson.
Before beginning this project, teachers should send home a note to parents letting them know about the project. The booklet will contain poems about family holiday memories and traditions. A nice addition to the poetry booklet would be a few select photos of the student with family members during a past holiday. Photos should be scanned and printed instead of using the original photo. Ask parents to do this if the equipment is not available at school.
Review Poetry Techniques
Before beginning the booklet, review or teach the 10 basic poetry techniques:
The cover of the poetry book should list the student’s name, the date and the holiday. It should be illustrated and be colorful. The booklet will have four or more favorite holiday memories written as poems. Each poem will have a separate page of the booklet. Each page should be decorated with colorful items. Photos will make the booklet even more special.
Students should choose four or more favorite memories from the holiday. Next, they should write four or more poems.
- The poetry can be free verse poetry that includes a couple of the poetry techniques. The poems should be around four-to-ten lines.
- For rhyming poetry, ask students to use a rhyme scheme, such as ABABAB, or ABCABC.
Fun poetry that has rules are syllable count poetry, such as limericks, haiku, and tankas.
The type of poems included can be the choice of the teacher of the students. The key is that students write poetry, learn poetry techniques and focus on holiday memories. This is a win-win lesson that will be fun for the students and will be one in which students learn state indicators for poetry.