Beacon Lesson Plan Library

News Poetry

Cynthia Youngblood
Santa Rosa District Schools


Students choose a newspaper article and dramatize it in a well-constructed poem.


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.


-Selected poems
-Pen, pencil, and paper


Obtain a copy of Robert Frost’s poem “Out, out….”
Collect old newspapers.
Write several poems from news articles to use as an example.


1. Teacher shares a poem that tells a story, such as Robert Frost’s “Out, out- .”
2. Teacher tells students that a poem, such as this one, could have first been written as a news article in a local newspaper: “BUZZ SAW ACCIDENT TAKES YOUNG BOY’S LIFE.”
3. Teacher distributes newspapers to students and asks them to select a small item in a newspaper and then dramatize it in a well-constructed poem. The subject might be “The Accident” or “The Tornado.” (Students are to be mindful that the challenge is to be able to move from the sober, factual prose of a newspaper account to an imaginative reliving of the event in highly-charged, poetic language.)
4. Students share individual poems.
5. Teacher collects poems and evaluates them for a grade. (See assessment.)


Student demonstrates a commitment to the subject. (25 points)
Student uses creative writing strategies. (25 points)
Student demonstrates an understanding of word choice. (25 points)
Student conveys a mood in an original poem. (25 points)
Total possible points (100)


Students could also use magazine articles for this activity. Reader’s Digest would be excellent.
Return to the Beacon Lesson Plan Library.