CrispAds Blog Ads



I like to rhyme, I do it all the time!

Every schoolyear one of my larger English projects is a poetry unit. I've really modified it over the past few years, and I think it is more successful year by year. I've also added different types of poetry just about every year.

I begin the unit by reading one of my favorite books to the class... "Love That Dog" by Sharon Creech. If you haven't read it, I highly recommend it. It is easily readable in under an hour, and it is moving and entertaining. It deals with a boy who doesn't really like poetry, or admittingly feels that boys don't like poetry. Through the book he changes his mindset.

I then proceed through about a two week span of introducing different types of poetry: Acrostic, Haiku, Senryu, Diomonte, Cinquain, Lyrical, Rhyming, Free Verse, Limerics and finally Shape.

After that I usually read about a few different poets (Dickinson, Frost, Poe) and read some of their work. Throughout each lesson I present different examples, and have students read those (I usually put those on a transparency, and then on the overhead) After we read them, we discuss them, and sometimes rate, or grade them.

Students are assigned a portfolio that asks them to turn in 2 examples of each type, and then gives them a chance to turn in 3 more of the type they like the most. I then make a Poetry display on the wall, and type them up, similar to "Love that Dog." The students really like reading the poems of their peers, and I've really seen some GREAT poetry over the past 5 years. I usually suggest a few put their poems into publication on or some other website.

One of the main things that I stress is that you can write a poem about anything. It's a great way to express your thoughts and feelings on just about whatever you want.

Here's a poem I wrote and submitted a few years ago.

As the night dawned, the firelight grew
I pulled myself closer to the flames.
My mind filled with thoughts of what to do
And remembering faces without names.

I thought of loved ones, with me no longer
My thoughts searching for moments in time.
Wishing to make each bond grow stronger
With those whose lives have crossed mine.

My eyes couldn't leave the light by my feet
Opening doorways, releasing my past.
Reminiscing of times that were so sweet
In my mind those good times will last.

Derek George Johnson


At 12:52 AM, Blogger Mama Mouse said...

Oh my .... your poem, "Campfire" made me cry!! It is beautiful and I can remember sitting by campfires and watching the flames reach for the sky with sparks that flew further. I LOVE it!

By the way ... I assume your name is Derek as that is the name you have written beneath the poem. That's a wonderful name ... I should know .... its what I named my oldest son! Spelled correctly too!

At 10:32 AM, Blogger Dea said...

I am surfing Blogazoo and that's how I came across your blog.

I operate a peer review writers workshop called "The NoteBored." We are a family friendly, moderated place for writers of all ages and experience levels to post their work. Seriously, we have writers as young as 11 years old and some seniors.

One of our many forums concentrates on poetry. We also run a weekly poetry challenge. If you are interested in joining the community go to

You must register to join. Keeping the workshop under password protection, allows you to get peer feedback without compromising your first publication rights. It also keeps minors in a safe environment.

If you are looking for a place to let your students post their work, we might be a good option for you to think about. I recommend joining long enough to have a look around and see if our corner of the web is something you are interested in.

Well, I don't mean to sound like a commercial, I just wanted you to know what we are and how we are run.

Bye for now. :-)


Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home