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Learning from Lyrics - Johnathan Chase,

Grades
9 to 12
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This site offers a unit/lesson plan that provides the opportunity for students to use their own music to be involved in poetry and music. It also gives links to other ...more
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This site offers a unit/lesson plan that provides the opportunity for students to use their own music to be involved in poetry and music. It also gives links to other pertinent sites, such as a "Blues Bus Trip" that involves students in the history of their music. This is great for Humanitites-oriented classes.

tag(s): lyrics (21), poetry (221)

In the Classroom

Offering six 45-minute lessons, this is a wonderful site for your reluctant learners. While students are encouraged to use their own music, you can offer suggestions of different types of music (such as folk music or Celtic, opera or jazz or blues, etc.). You might adjust plans around the lessons given, assigning different music genres to small groups or individuals which would then incorporate research into the project. The links on this page offer a wide variety of places to go and things to do for students.

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Listening to Poetry: Sounds of the Sonnet - National Endowment for the Humanities

Grades
8 to 12
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If you want to make your students love the SOUND of poetry, this is the site for you. While knowing the terms for rhythms, meters, etc. is important to teachers ...more
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If you want to make your students love the SOUND of poetry, this is the site for you. While knowing the terms for rhythms, meters, etc. is important to teachers and for testing, it seems more important for students to understand the sound that comes from language and appreciate it. The terms can always come later and will be connected to a meaningful experience students can recall. This site provides seven sound experiments to whet your students' appetites for poetry. The site provides step-by-step instructions on the seven "experiments" used to involved students in the music of language. It also provides multiple links to different eras from the early Elizabethan sonnets to the Romantics through Victorian and American poets.

tag(s): poetry (221), sonnets (5)

In the Classroom

Conduct these lessons in their "traditional" ways or consider letting students make a podcast of one or more of the experiments so their peers can "hear" the lesson over and over with explanation and commentary from their peers. These podcasts could be the start of a library to accompany the teaching of poetry in your school. If you have never tried podcasting, the relatively simple structure of these "experiments" gives you a structured place to start.

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The Poetics of Hip Hop - Theresa Sotto

Grades
9 to 12
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This site gives lessons to help provide analysis of hip hop music and lyrics and provide students with a greater understanding of rhythm, form, diction, and sound in poetry. It ...more
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This site gives lessons to help provide analysis of hip hop music and lyrics and provide students with a greater understanding of rhythm, form, diction, and sound in poetry. It is a great way to get reluctant English students involved in language and the way it works.

tag(s): poetry (221)

In the Classroom

Four 45-minute lessons are structured to that students will analyze form in Shakespearean sonnets, then analyze hip hop music to determine common characteristics between the Bard's work and the music of hip hop artists. Students will reinforce their understanding of the connections between hip hop and poetry through close analysis of the works of poets Saul Williams and Nikki Giovanni, and through the creation of their own poetry. Related websites offer a variety of directions to take students, making this adaptable for many kinds of lessons.

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The Music In Poetry - Smithsonian Institute

Grades
5 to 12
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If you want to get students involved in listening to poetry, try this site featuring real life SOUNDS of poetry in both ballads and the blues. Ballads are traditionally taught ...more
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If you want to get students involved in listening to poetry, try this site featuring real life SOUNDS of poetry in both ballads and the blues. Ballads are traditionally taught as story poems and, while this site does that too, it makes ballads more relevant to the music that kids listen to today. Use this site to teach about meters (iambic triameter and iambic tetrameter) in ways that students can HEAR. The images of the short films are great, too. The site includes readings and singing of great, classic examples of ballads as well as some rarer film footage of great blues singers (ex: John Jackson singing "Steamboat Whistle" at Wolf Trap in 1997). There is a wide variety of tracks to choose from and the site includes lesson plans.

tag(s): blues (17), poetry (221)

In the Classroom

Play the sound files on speakers in your classroom and be sure to include the link on your teacher web page for students to play at home, as well. If you are into podcasting, consider having students make their own recordings of ballads after hearing and studying these. Create podcasts using PodOmatic (reviewed here). The lesson plans are printable Adobe and work with units/lessons on Langston Hughes and the blues as well as the meters of poetry.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Literactive - Entertainment and Information Industries, Ltd.

Grades
K to 2
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Billed as the world's first interactive literacy program available in electronic or printed format, this free site offers a fresh approach to guided reading. Leveled guided readers,...more
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Billed as the world's first interactive literacy program available in electronic or printed format, this free site offers a fresh approach to guided reading. Leveled guided readers, interactive phonics activities, and printable worksheets make this an all-inclusive site for early reading practice. Just click on the options for poetry, nursery rhymes, guided reading short stories, spelling and ESL practice. Using and viewing the site does not require registration. However, if you want to download the programs and worksheets for off-line use, then a quick registration (free) is required.

tag(s): folktales (56), guided reading (47), nursery rhymes (16), phonics (71), poetry (221), rhymes (31), spanish (110), spelling (167)

In the Classroom

Individual or paired reading at computer stations or laptops would work well. If whiteboards are available, the interactive features open possibilities for whole class or small group guided reading. Several stories are available in Spanish for ESL students. Use the printables to go along with the lessons. One word of caution concerning the alphabet worksheets: the manuscript letters may not be conducive to your school's adopted format.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Vincent Voice Library - Michigan State University

Grades
3 to 12
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This amazing library, part of Michigan State's library system, offers information about speeches, recordings, and news broadcasts featuring over 100,000 famous and not so famous personages....more
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This amazing library, part of Michigan State's library system, offers information about speeches, recordings, and news broadcasts featuring over 100,000 famous and not so famous personages. Not all items are digitized, but many are available in MP3 format. Those that can be played on your computer will have the word "Listen" as a link to play the file. The serach tools are a bit cumbersome, but there are terrific primary sources here.

Requires Quick time. Videos require RealPlayer. Get these plug-ins from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): authors (122), news (259), poetry (221), speech (90), speeches (19)

In the Classroom

Play a recording of a famous speech or video relevant to today's lesson as students enter the room (turn up your speakers!). Or have your students create multimedia presentations using these sounds in the background, such as portraits orf a decade, an author study, or a moment in history.

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American Writers - C-Span

Grades
6 to 12
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This beautifully crafted site provides students with in-depth information on American writers and their works. Students can use the site's search feature to zero in on an era in American...more
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This beautifully crafted site provides students with in-depth information on American writers and their works. Students can use the site's search feature to zero in on an era in American history, a specific author, or a book title. The site features many video clips from the companion C-SPAN series. A high-speed connection is a must.

tag(s): authors (122), poetry (221)

In the Classroom

You can pick and choose not only which author you want, but what information you want to use. You can choose short video clips shown on a projector either as a lesson in themselves (using the suggested questions or ones of your own); you can create a webquest using a combination of both this site and other sites linked from it; or you can use this as a straightforward internet lesson, using the material presented on the site itself. It is easily expandable to history and you can watch the video, a video clip, or read the transcript. Video requires Real Player.

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Shel Silverstein's Official Website - Shel Silverstein; Harper Publishers

Grades
K to 6
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Shel Silverstein's outside-the-box style of poetry has delighted students for years. Now, his website extends that wacky literacy to another medium and level. You may be tempted at...more
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Shel Silverstein's outside-the-box style of poetry has delighted students for years. Now, his website extends that wacky literacy to another medium and level. You may be tempted at most sites to skip the intro. Don't skip Shel's. Familiar entities walk across your screen welcoming you. Screen Savers, animated Shel-creature-people to enjoy, reproducibles, and more await your enjoyment. Click on Poetry Month to find more activities and games that you can use during April. Your students will chuckle at Shel's own reading and lively animation of several of his poems. This is a site to explore with your class.

tag(s): humor (15), poetry (221)

In the Classroom

Take your students on this language-rich adventure using an interactive whiteboard or projector. Mark your calendar now to visit this site during April, when Poetry Month is celebrated. Download your free poetry kit from the poetry month link. Of course, Shel Silverstein's whimsical and slightly dark humor can be enjoyed any month. There is a link for Teachers and Parents with lesson ideas, printables, and more. This is a great site to share with parents and students for summer breaks.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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A Race with Grace: Sports Poetry in Motion - IRA /NCTE

Grades
3 to 5
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Turn the excitement of the Olympics into a meaningful writing assignment. This lesson plan asks students to explore the aesthetic characteristic of athletics, drawing from their own...more
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Turn the excitement of the Olympics into a meaningful writing assignment. This lesson plan asks students to explore the aesthetic characteristic of athletics, drawing from their own experiences as well as examples in popular media. Thoughts and impressions are recorded in a reflective journal. Using the data as a foundation, students conduct Internet research, view short informative video clips, take digital photographs, and synthesize all of the information into an original cinquain poem. The lesson plan includes IRA/NCTE standards.

tag(s): sports (97), writing (366)

In the Classroom

Get your students excited about poetry, by using the momentum of sports and the Olympics. Share the video clips on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Use this site to integrate science, sports, and research into your language arts class.

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Poetry Engine - Scholastic

Grades
2 to 4
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Take the stress out of teaching a poetry lesson with this interactive site that introduces students to limericks, haiku, free verse, and cinquains. Students can choose a style, work...more
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Take the stress out of teaching a poetry lesson with this interactive site that introduces students to limericks, haiku, free verse, and cinquains. Students can choose a style, work through a brief tutorial, and then create their own poems using a word bank and template. An entertaining and informative activity to kick off a creative writing lesson.

tag(s): poetry (221)

In the Classroom

Introduce this site on an interactive whiteboard or projector, then keep it as a link on your teacher web page for students to access from the classroom computer or from home. Use this site during Poetry Month (April).
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Learning About Research and Writing using the American Revolution - NCTE/IRA

Grades
3 to 5
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This lesson creates a wonderful interdisciplinary connection between creative writing and American history. After using a variety of resources to learn more about the American Revolution,...more
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This lesson creates a wonderful interdisciplinary connection between creative writing and American history. After using a variety of resources to learn more about the American Revolution, students select an historical figure from that era, and compose an acrostic poem describing that individual's contributions. Aligned to National Standards.

tag(s): creative writing (167), writing (366)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of this free lesson plan as a way to study the American Revolution from an interdisciplinary standpoint. This lesson plan mixes creative writing and poetry with history as a way to relate different concepts concerning the American Revolution.

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African American Women Writers - NY Public Library

Grades
6 to 12
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The New York Public Library developed this collection of works by nineteenth century female African American writers. The resources include fiction, poetry, essays, and more; all are...more
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The New York Public Library developed this collection of works by nineteenth century female African American writers. The resources include fiction, poetry, essays, and more; all are formatted in an easy-to-use on-screen display. Those who teach American literature will find this an interesting supplemental resource.

tag(s): africa (169), african american (109), authors (122), poetry (221), women (94)

In the Classroom

Use the poems by Phyllis Wheatley to compliment a lesson on supporters of the American Revolution. Wheatley is often a studied character in American History, and her poems often confront American Independence and slavery. Share the poems with students at the end of a lesson, and have them analyze as a class what she is trying to say about either subject. This could be done via classroom discussion or journal writing.

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Dancing Minds and Shouting Smiles - International Reading Association

Grades
3 to 5
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Using the works of Emily Dickinson, William Blake, and Langston Hughes, this lesson plan introduces students to figurative language and encourages them to create their own poetry using...more
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Using the works of Emily Dickinson, William Blake, and Langston Hughes, this lesson plan introduces students to figurative language and encourages them to create their own poetry using personification. After learning about characteristics of personification and identifying examples, students discuss how figurative language affects the reader, collectively create a word list, and independently compose an original work. A peer-editing worksheet is included. Aligned to National Standards.

tag(s): figurative language (16), poetry (221)

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All About Me and my Favorite Things - IRA/NCTE

Grades
1 to 2
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Build vocabulary and writing skills with this lesson plan that introduces young students to acrostic poetry and guides them through the creation of their own compositions. After some...more
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Build vocabulary and writing skills with this lesson plan that introduces young students to acrostic poetry and guides them through the creation of their own compositions. After some group vocabulary brainstorming with letters of the alphabet and teacher modeling, students begin to construct an original free-verse poem using their first name as the foundation. Includes creative ideas for extension activities. Aligned to National Standards.

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Weaving the Threads: Integrating Poetry Annotation and Web Technology - IRA/NCTE

Grades
6 to 8
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This clever multi-class activity challenges students to investigate Native American poetry, analyze it for key words, and create a hyperlinked document. Students use the selected key...more
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This clever multi-class activity challenges students to investigate Native American poetry, analyze it for key words, and create a hyperlinked document. Students use the selected key words as the basis for cultural research, reproduce the poem in electronic format, then hyperlink each keyword to more detailed information, creating an interactive literary experience. The final product is a Web page that can be shared with an authentic audience. But if Web page production is out of your comfort zone, this lesson can be accomplished using Word or PowerPoint. Aligned to National Standards.

tag(s): native americans (79), poetry (221)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of the free lesson plans offered on this site - a great for teachers to incorporate Native American Poetry into a cultural study. This could easily be manipulated for an English or American History class.

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Poets.org - Academy of American Poets

Grades
7 to 12
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This collection of more than 1400 poems, 500 poet biographies, and 100 audio clips is a helpful and well-organized resource for both students and teachers of American literature. Search...more
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This collection of more than 1400 poems, 500 poet biographies, and 100 audio clips is a helpful and well-organized resource for both students and teachers of American literature. Search by poet or title to locate texts and biographical information. Visit the Listening Booth to give your students the opportunity to hear the voices of Robert Frost, T.S. Eliot, and many other beloved American poets! The site also contains information about National Poetry Month, celebrated every April, and a list of major American poetry awards with recent recipients.

tag(s): poetry (221)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of the free lesson plans, tips and resources for teaching poetry in the "Educators" section of the site. These would be great for a teacher who's teaching poetry for the first time, or just needs some fresh ideas. Be sure to save the site as a favorite to allow for easy retrieval later on.

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Poetry: Write Like the Pros

Grades
3 to 5
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Here's a three-lesson poetry unit for grades 3-5 that gives students lots of examples, then asks them to write and perform poetry of their own. This one offers both structure ...more
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Here's a three-lesson poetry unit for grades 3-5 that gives students lots of examples, then asks them to write and perform poetry of their own. This one offers both structure and great creative opportunities.

tag(s): poetry (221)

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Voice - Online Poetry Classroom

Grades
7 to 10
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Introductory poetry unit which uses class discussion, critical writing assignments, and personal reflection to help students learn poetic vocabulary. The lessons are developed to forge...more
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Introductory poetry unit which uses class discussion, critical writing assignments, and personal reflection to help students learn poetic vocabulary. The lessons are developed to forge links between the poems from the unit and the text book used throughout the year. The unit is designed for lower high school students.

tag(s): poetry (221), writing (366)

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Songs My Teacher Taught Me - Online Poetry Classroom

Grades
9 to 12
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This unit of lesson plans surveys a wide range of poets including women, African-American, and nineteenth-century poets. Lessons are thematically broken into three categories, "What...more
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This unit of lesson plans surveys a wide range of poets including women, African-American, and nineteenth-century poets. Lessons are thematically broken into three categories, "What is Poetry?" "Poems of Childhood," and "Self and Society." A "Teaching Guide" is included and offers suggestions on presenting the material in a variety of ways, making this unit suitable to any high school grade.

tag(s): poetry (221)

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Online Poetry Classroom

Grades
4 to 12
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Teaching poetry can be a challenge in any school. Here's a site that offers both teaching strategies (lots of them!) and teacher-designed lessons on a variety of topics. If you ...more
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Teaching poetry can be a challenge in any school. Here's a site that offers both teaching strategies (lots of them!) and teacher-designed lessons on a variety of topics. If you approach the annual poetry unit reluctantly, take courage here.

tag(s): poetry (221)

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