Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Self-Portrait Poem

Cynthia Youngblood
Santa Rosa District Schools

Description

Students write a self-portrait poem, giving the reader an indication what he or she is like on the inside, instead of picturing how he or she looks on the outside.

Objectives

The student drafts and revises writing that -is focused, purposeful, reflects insight into the writing situation;-conveys a sense of completeness and wholeness with adherence to the main idea;-has an organizational pattern that provide for a logical progression of ideas;-has support that is substantial, specific, revelant, concrete, and/or illustrative;-demonstrates a commitment to and an involvement with the subject;-has clarity in presentation of ideas;uses creative writing strategies appropriate to the purpose of the paper;demonstrates a command of language (word choice) with freshness of expression;has varied sentence structure and sentences that are complete except when fragments are used and purposefully; andhas few, if any, convention errors in mechanics, usage, and punctuation.

The student understands various elements of authors' craft appropriate at this grade level, including word choice, symbolism, figurative language, mood, irony, foreshadowing, flashback, persuasion techniques, and point of view in both fiction and nonfiction.

The student knows how mood or meaning is conveyed in poetry, such as, word choice, dialect, invented words, concrete or abstract terms, sensory or figurative language; use of sentence structure, line length, punctuation, and rhythm.

Materials

-Teacher model of self-portrait poem
-Pen or pencil
-Paper

Preparations

1. Teacher can discuss the use of sensory and figurative language in poetry prior to the beginning of this lesson.
2. Teacher writes a model self-portrait poem.

Procedures

1. Teacher tells students to write a self-portrait poem, giving the reader an indication what he or she is like on the inside, instead of picturing how he or she looks on the outside. Teacher emphasizes students to be completely truthful and try to find that part of himself or herself that is different from other people. Students can make up his or her own variations on the following suggestions: tell his or her likes and dislikes, tell what he or she wants to be or do when he or she gets out of school and why, tell something that somebody has said about him or her and how it made him or her feel, tell something that made him or her feel very excited or very sad and why, tell something that he or she has never told anybody before, and tell what makes him or her special or different from somebody else.

2. Teacher instructs students to put each thought or phrase on a separate line so that the end result reads like a poem rather than a story. Students should try to use as many similes (comparisons introduced by “like” or “as”) and metaphors (words or phrases that suggest a similarity). At this time the teacher should provide a mini-lesson on figurative language to review these strategies. The discussion should include how figurative language impacts the mood and meaning of the piece of writing.

3. Teacher shares model self-portrait poem about herself or himself and instructs students to begin creating their poems.

4. Students volunteer to share poems.

5. Teacher collects poems and evaluates them for the students’ use of creative writing strategies, demonstrates the understanding of and uses sensory and figurative language, such as similes and metaphors, exhibits a personal understanding of the importance of a poem as a means of self-expression.

Assessments

Teacher evaluates poems for the students’ use of creative writing strategies. The poem should demonstrate the understanding of sensory and figurative language, use of sensory and figurative language, such as similes and metaphors, and exhibit a personal understanding of the importance of this poem as a means of self-expression.
Note: Since this lesson only addresses a portion of each targeted benchmark, it is considered formative assessment only. Further instruction and assessment on the other criteria in each benchmark are necessary before mastery can be assessed.

Extensions

Students could illustrate his or her self-portrait poem with a visual self-portrait.
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