Things to Consider when Teaching Poetry for ESL

Poetry as I said before, is a good time to get your students to express themselves. If you plan your unit right, you can maximize the results from your students. Here is a sample unit plan.

Week 1:
Day 1 - Biography Poems
Day 2 - Color Poems
Day 3 - Acrostic Poems
Day 4 - Dictionary Poems
Day 5 - Concrete Poems
*homework - 2 poems a day

Week 2:
Day 1 - I Remember ... (every line starts with "I Remember")
Day 2 - Diamante (contrasting 2 opposite items)
Day 3 - Free Choice
Day 4 - Free Choice
Day 5 - Free Choice
*day 3 - 5 students read poems to find inspiration
*homework - 2 poems a day

Week 3: Create Anthology
Day 1 - Design Front Cover, Blurb on the back, Dedication
Day 2 - Table of Contents (students decide which poems to include and the order)
Day 3 - Write Poems and Draw Illustrations
Day 4 - Write Poems and Draw Illustrations
Day 5 - Publishing Party (students share out their poems and celebrate the work they have done)

Of course this time line can be altered to suit your classroom needs. There are a few things to remember when teaching poetry.

1.) Expression - Challenge students to dig deep. Instead of writing roses are red, lets make them think about a topic they are interested in (ie: sports, school, life, homework, etc.). We want to get them to express themselves with the English they have acquired throughout the year.

2.) Freedom - Give them the choice to write about what they want to write about. When your students are inspired to write about something let them run with it and experiment.

I hope you enjoyed the last couple posts about teaching poetry. If you need more suggestions feel free to email me.