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Everyone Loves Halloween!
Help students practice their skill with creating similes and using words to evoke vivid images by working with a partner to come up with a spooky or funny Halloween poem. Halloween is a holiday that delights most teenagers. They love to dress up in costume, they love candy, and they love the eerie, spooky tone of the holiday.
Halloween is also a holiday with a lot of comedic potential; there is something humorous about pumpkins, the color orange, and the overemphasis on death. How many ghosts can one see hanging from a tree before the spookiness turns into humor?
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Discuss Literary Techniques in Halloween Poems
Start this lesson by sharing some spooky or funny poems with the class. Pass out copies of the poems. Ask students to volunteer to read the poems to the class. Discuss the similes used in the poems. Also ask the class to find examples of imagery, hyperbole, personification, and vivid language.
Discuss First Lines of Halloween Poems
Put the first lines from strong Halloween poems on the board. Discuss what the students either do or not like about the opening lines of the poem. Ask the students if the first lines are interesting enough for them to want to continue on to read the entire poem. Discuss any hyperbole or similes used in the first lines and encourage students to use these literary techniques in their own poems.
Identify a Theme
Then ask the students to turn their desks so they are facing a partner. Pass out the writing rubric that is used to grade poems. Discuss it with the class. Then ask the students to decide upon the theme of a Halloween poem they will create. Ask them to put the word “funny" or “scary" at the top of their paper to identify the theme they chose. Tell them to create a list of then words that relate to Halloween and the theme they have chosen.
Practice Writing Similes
The teams of two students will work together to create ten similes about Halloween. They will eventually use some of these similes in the poems they create. Remind the students to use vivid language and unusual comparisons in their similes.
Brainstorm Ideas for First Line
Tell students to discuss ideas for a first line before they write anything down. Talk with their partner to mull through different ideas before deciding upon a first line for their poem. Remind the class that the first line must “hook" the reader and make him want to read more of the poem.
Give Feedback on Writing
Circulate the room as students are working on their similes and the first line of the poem. Give advice and feedback about their writing. Remind students to use strong words to make each line of their poem an important tool to create humor or move along the suspense of a scary poem.
Create First Draft
Tell the class members to work with their partner to create a first draft of a poem about Halloween. The poem should contain at least twenty lines. Then put some words and phrases associated with Halloween up on the board to help students brainstorm writing ideas. Here are some words to include: black cat, dark night, spooks, ghost, goblin, pumpkin, Halloween treats, trick or treat, Boo, Jack-o-lantern, ghoul, fright night, moon light, in the shadows, and orange Halloween moon.
Assessment of Student Progress
Grade the student poems with the rubric used for poetry writing. Also check that they have used examples of similes and hyperbole. Also check that the poem is at least twenty lines long.
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Online Sites to Find Funny or Spooky Halloween Poems
Peculiar Poetry - Funny Halloween Poems. http://www.peculiar-poetry.com/types/holiday/halloween-poems.htm
Poetry Bazaar.com - Halloween Poems. http://www.poetrybazar.com/category/halloween-poems/
The Holiday Spot.com - Halloween Poems. http://www.theholidayspot.com/halloween/poems.htm
PoemsNQuotes.com - Halloween Poems. http://www.poemsnquotes.com/halloween-poems3.html