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Lesson Plan #:AELP-LIT0008
Submitted by: Debbie S. Greco, English Teacher
School, or Affiliation: North Layton Junior High, Layton, Utah Date: February 16, 1996

Grade Level(s): 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12


  • Language Arts/Literature


Student will demonstrate an understanding of the expressive and figurative nature of poetry through successfully producing their own short poem.

Lesson Plan:

Pick a particularly expressive piece of music (preferably without lyrics) and have the students close their eyes and imagine a place with something happening. Let them listen for about three minutes then go around the room and have each student tell what they saw while they were listening to the music. Explain that when something is expressive it is powerful and moving. The subject matter of a poem isn’t as important as if it is powerful and moving.

Next, show the students an expressive painting and get group response as to what kind of mood it seems to create. You could also do this by showing a piece of dance.

Next show the section of Dead Poets’ Society where the kids are presenting their own poems to the class and Robin Williams is talking about what poetry is. Discuss the message of this piece with the class.

Next explain what figurative means, how it is symbolic and representative. Give the example of saying a hot flaming flower instead of fire. Have each student come up with a figurative phrase for snow and then have them share it with the class.

Now they are ready to write their own poem. Have them follow this format:

Line 1: subject;

Line 2: three expressive words or phrases;

Line 3: a figurative phrase about their subject;

Line 4: a line that starts with I wish I could….