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Ready-Set-Tech: Primp Up Your Poems: Literary Devices

Julie Vitulano, Murry Bergtraum HS, New York, NY

Grade Level  9 - 12
Subject English Language Arts
Background Computer technology enhances any writing assignment. The entire writing process; prewriting, drafting, sharing, editing, and publishing is facilitated by computer technology. In this lesson, the Internet may also be used for defining, revising, and competitive writing.
Time One 40-minute class with a follow-up the next day.

Students will be able to use literacy devices appropriately, and to identify them in others’ work.

Materials Computers with Internet connections.
For the Teacher “Tips for Young Poets”

This site provides a step-by-step guide on how to write a poem and may be consulted for tips on any part of the poetry writing process.

Procedure Do Now: Students are given examples of literary devices and asked to identify them. (See the Literary Devices Worksheet)
Students exchange papers and the correct answers are reviewed.

1. The students are directed to go to “Definitions”: http://tnellen.com/cybereng/lit_terms/terms

There they review the definitions and examples of the ones they answered incorrectly.

2. The teacher explains that the students are going to write a poem using some of the literary devices that were just reviewed. The evaluation checklist  is given out at this time and reviewed.

3. Use the attached worksheet to begin getting ideas on a poem about ‘love.’ This is done as a whole group as an example.

4. The students are then asked to think of a theme on their own. Examples are:

basketball, the USA, their school, a friend, happiness, etc., and to fill in a sunshine chart on their own topic.

5. Teacher circulates and facilitates the work.

6. After five minutes or so, the students are asked to write a draft of a poem of at least ten lines on the theme of their choice. Remind them that this is just a draft. Literary devices are going to be incorporated after the first draft.

7. The students are grouped in threes and directed to share their poems with each other by passing them around to each other. After each reading set (three in all), each poet should be given one ‘warm’ comment and one ‘cool’ comment. Explain to the students that warm and cool are a way of praising and criticizing softly.

8. Now the students are asked to go back and rewrite their poems. This time they are to try to incorporate one or more of the literary devices that were reviewed at the beginning of the lesson.

For those who would like to try rhyme, direct them to the Rhyming Dictionary“ The Semantic Rhyming Dictionary” by Doug Beeferman

Homework The students are to finish their poems and give it a title.
Extension Ideas for the next day and beyond 1. The teacher copies examples of literary devices from the students’ poems and makes them into a quiz. The students are given credit for their contribution by their initial after their literary device. Students enjoy having their own work used on quizzes.

JZ – My room is a castle.
MN – Candies, cookies, and crackers can caramelize cannibals.

2.The poems are posted around the room or on a web site, and the students do a walk-around or a click around. The students are given five or ten minutes to see how many literary devices they can find and identify.

3. If the students feel that their poems are particularly well written, they may submit them electronically to:

Ongoing Free Poetry Contest http://highschoolhub.org/hub/english.cfm

Evaluation Click here.


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