Beacon Lesson Plan Library

I'm A Poet and Now I Know It

Dawn Capes
Bay District Schools


This is the final phase of the poetry unit, I'm a Poet and Didn't Know It! Using ideas generated from other poems and their own inspiration, students create original poetry. A celebration is included as students bind and submit poems for publication.


The student demonstrates a command of the language (including but not limited to precise word choice, appropriate figurative language).

The student uses creative writing strategies appropriate to the format (for example, using appropriate voice; using descriptive language to clarify ideas and create vivid images; using elements of style, such as appropriate tone).

The student uses figurative language techniques to create and comprehend meaning (for example, similes, metaphors, analogies, anecdotes, sensory language).

The student analyzes and describes the use of symbolism and figurative language in fiction or nonfiction.

The student knows ways effective word choice, uses of dialect and sensory or figurative language contribute to the mood or meaning of a poem.

The student understands the impact on the reader of specific word choices (for example,, multiple meanings, invented words, concrete or abstract terms, figurative language).

The student describes how line length, punctuation, and rhythm contribute to the overall effect of a poem.


-Student copies of Summative Assessment Expectations, Writing Checklist, Cover Letter Example, Cover Letter Requirements and Publication info- one per student (See Associated file)
-Transparency of Summative Assessment Expectations (See Associated file)
-Handout, Making a Poem More Poetic (From Lesson One There's A Writer Waiting Inside Me)
-Handout, Peer Conference and Peer Conference Checklist (From Lesson Six, Life is Like)
-Poetry generation handouts (throughout the unit)
-Two stamped envelopes for each child (students bring their own)
-Parent Permission slips (See Associated file)
-Construction paper, scissors, Ellison die cuts, magazines, and various other art supplies
-Student folders
-Copies of poem turn in checklists (See Associated file)


1. Publication addresses can be supplemented using poetry contest information or publication information that is generally gathered from magazines, books etc. If students have a favorite magazine that they would like to submit to, have them bring the magazine in and find the address for the submission address.
2. Make copies (one per child) of parent permission slip and publication addresses.
3. Make student copies of cover letter, example (of cover letter), Summative Assessment Expectations, Writing checklist, publication addresses and poem checklists.
4. Multiple copies of the rubric, checklists and peer conference information (from previous lessons) may be necessary. Be prepared!


Note: Since multiple copies of the poems will be needed, it may be best to have students type their final copies. A computer lab, classroom computers or studentsí own home computers could be used to make sure everyone has at least three copies of each poem.

Days 9 and 10 of the unit, Iím A Poet and Didnít Know It!

Have students get their poetry folders as they enter the room.

You may want to continue asking if anyone brought in a poem to share from an outside source. Again ask if it is a good poem. Allow for brief discussion and analyzing. Post to bulletin board.

1. Pass back student poems, Life Is Like.
2. Tell students that now they will be entering the final phase of the poetry unit- writing their own poetry. Before they begin, they have to understand their ďtarget,Ē so share with students the expectations for the Summative Assessment 1 and 2. Go over the expectations and ensure student understanding. Give due date. (Day 14 of the unit.)
3. Explain that they will need to bring in two stamped envelopes in order to send their poem for publication and receive notification back from the publisher. Also explain that they will need parent permission forms from their parents in order to publish. Pass out parent permission slips and publication addresses.
4. Once students have an understanding of how they will be assessed, have them open their poetry folders and take out all of the idea generation handouts.
a. Symbolism
b. A Moment In Time
c. Personify This!
d. I Just Want to Say
e. Life is like.. (Students can create another poem based on this idea.)
5. Students will now choose one of these ideas and create their own poem. They will go through the same process as they did with the Life Is poem.
6. Allow students time to go over their feedback from the poem Life Is. Explain that they will need to rewrite the poem and turn it in as a final copy (As listed in the Summative Assessment Expectations.)
7. Refresh student memories on the process of writing the poems.
*Step One: Write their poem. They can use the handout, Making Poetry More Poetic, the Writing Checklist and the rubric to guide them through their rough draft stage.
*Step Two: Peer conference. Students should use the Peer Conference Ground Rules and Peer Conference Checklist to guide their peer conference. They will also need a copy of the rubric to assess the poem by. (It may be helpful to point out good things you noticed in their peer conferencing of the poems Life Is and things they need to improve upon.)
*Step Three: Rewrite. Students will need to rewrite their work based on things found in the peer conference.
*Step Four: Teacher OR peer conference. Depending on the level of student, a peer conference may suffice; however, if students are struggling with their work or need more guidance in their feedback, a teacher conference may be needed. Again, students/teacher will need the Peer Conference Ground Rules, Peer Conference Checklist, and the rubric.
*Step Five: Rewrite.
*Step Six: Write a final neat copy. (It is up to the teacher and computers available to decide if final copies will be typed or handwritten neatly. But be aware of the Celebration and Publication needs. Remember students need an audience outside of the teacher!)
8. Be sure to monitor student progress using the same rubrics, checklists, etc., which students are using so everyone is ready to turn in final poems on the designated day.
9. At the end of each day, return ALL work and handouts to the folders. Middle school students often have disorganization problems and constant monitoring will be necessary to ensure they have the work the next day.

Days 11 and 12 from the unit, Iím a Poet and Didnít Know It

Have students get their poetry folders.

*You may want to continue asking if anyone brought in a poem to share from an outside source. Again ask if it is a good poem. Allow for brief discussion and analyzing.

**Remind students when poems are due. (Day 14 of the unit)
1. Ask if anyone has their stamped envelopes or parent permission slips. Collect.
2. Students will now begin working on their final poem.
3. They can choose to come up with their own poems, choose another poem from the ideas generated during the author study or use poetry writing ideas supplied by the teacher. This will depend on the level of student using the unit. Lower students may need additional idea makers to help them create this poem.
4. Refresh student memories on the process of writing the poems. See Procedures #6 from above.
5. Allow students time to complete final poem. Be sure to monitor student progress so everyone is ready to turn in final poems on the designated day. (Remember that while it is best for the final copies to be typed, it is ultimately up to the teacher.)
6. Return work to student poetry folders.

Day 13 of the unit, Iím a Poet and Didnít Know It

Have students get their poetry folders.

Ask about stamped envelopes and parent permission slips!! Collect.

1. Remind that tomorrow poems are due and the final assessment will be given.
2. Have students take out the Expectations for Summative Assessment and display the transparency. Go over the Expectations, again.
3. Allow students time to complete and ready all poetry for turning in on the following day.
4. Have students choose the one poem they would like to submit for publication and write/print another copy of it.
5. (Remember that while it is best for the final copies to be typed, it is ultimately up to the teacher.)
6. Return work to student poetry folders.

Day 14 of the unit, Iím a Poet and Didnít Know It

Ask about stamped envelopes!

1. Collect poems and assess using the Summative Assessment 1 scoring rubric. Have students affix poem checklists so they turn in all the required elements.
2. Administer Summative Assessment 2. See Extensions for further information concerning these assessments.

Day 15
Celebration! (Remember that this is optional and is not assessed. It is merely a time for students to bind their work in a creative and fun manner and also allow them an opportunity for publication. Your students will love this part!)
1. Supply students with construction paper, fun scissors, magazines, glue, Ellison die cuts, and other art supplies and allow them to paste an additional copy of their work (not final copies) and decorate. These can be shared via the library, open house night, on a bulletin board, in the main office, on a PowerPoint to display during lunch or in the library, and then placed in student folders.
2. Submission for publication. Students should have an audience for their work besides the teacher! Have students use the Publication handout to choose one place to send their poem for publication. Parent permission slips are advised. Students will need a cover letter and clean copy of their poem. An example cover letter is included in the attached files. Most editors insist on a typed version of the poem.


Days 9-13: Formative assessment using rubric and conference format.

Day 9: Review using Summative Assessment Expectations. As students have already had multiple opportunities to show they understand how to do this, they should need just a review.

Day 14: Summative Assessments 1 and 2


1. Students do not have to do the Celebration. They do not have to publish. BUT it is suggested that students do one or the other. Students need opportunities to have an audience outside of the teacher.
2. The Beacon Unit Plan associated with this lesson can be viewed by clicking on the link located at the top of this page or by using the following URL: Once you select the unitís link, scroll to the bottom of the unit plan page to find the section, Associated Files. This section contains links to the Unit Plan Overview, Diagnostic and Summative Assessments, and other associated files (if any).

Web Links

Use this link to obtain the handout, Making a Poem More Poetic.
Lesson One, There's A Writer Waiting

Use this link to obtain the handouts Peer Conference and Peer Conference Checklist.
Lesson Six, Life is Like

Attached Files

Handouts for I'm A Poet And Now I Know It†††††File Extension: pdf

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