About Us
Our Team
Our Impact
Contact Us
Corporate Programs

Poetry Slam For a Cause!

Page Views: 2007

Email This Lesson Plan to Me
Email Address:
Subscribe to Newsletter?
Log in to rate this plan!
Overall Rating:
(5.0 stars, 1 ratings)

Keywords: Poetry Writing, Poetry Slam, Movie Making
Subject(s): Video, Social Skills, Service Learning, Science, Writing, Drama, Reading, English/Language Arts
Grades K through 5
NETS-S Standard:
  • Creativity and Innovation
  • Communication and Collaboration
  • Research and Information Fluency
  • Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, and Decision Making
  • Digital Citizenship
  • Technology Operations and Concepts
View Full Text of Standards
School: Garfield Elementary School, Medina, OH
Planned By: Kelly McLaren-Olin
Original Author: Kelly McLaren-Olin, Medina
Problem Based Learning Unit

Lesson Title: Poetry Slam for a Cause
Subject Area(s): Language Arts Grade Level: 3
Author: Kelly McLaren-Olin

Standards in Content Area:
4. Read with sufficient accuracy and fluency to support comprehension.
a. Read grade-level text with purpose and understanding.
b. Read grade-level prose and poetry orally with accuracy, appropriate rate, and expression on successive readings
6. With guidance and support from adults, use technology to produce and publish writing
(using keyboarding skills) as well as to interact and collaborate with others.
Listening and Speaking
5. Create engaging audio/video recordings of stories or poems that demonstrate fluid reading at an understandable pace; add visual displays when appropriate to emphasize or enhance certain facts or details.
Technology Standards:
2. Communication and collaboration
Students use digital media and environments to communicate and work collaboratively, including at a distance, to support individual learning and contribute to the learning of others.
a. Interact, collaborate, and publish with peers, experts, or others employing a variety of digital environments and media.

Student Poetry Anthologies Poetry Slam elementary youTubes/videos
MacBooks with iMovie Google Docs

Computer Functions and Data Manipulation
Research and Organization of Poems on a chosen topic using Google, Google Chrome, Google Docs
TSW use websites to research their theme and then find poems based on that specific theme. This theme may be based in science or social studies.
TSW copy and paste poems into their Google Drive as GoogleDocs.

TSW create a Poetry Slam presentation that expresses ideas to a student/parent audience that is informative and possibly persuasive depending on the chosen topic. Poems will be memorized.

They will use Google Drive, Google Form
TSW respond to prompts and questions on a Google Form evaluating and reflecting on this experience and what they learned.

Specify Problem

Today we are going to begin a problem based learning experience based on poetry. Here is the problem that we will address: How can we as poets and poet critiques, find and write poems and present them in a Poetry Slam to make other students and parents more aware of (a topic or cause of student choice/interest.) Together we will brainstorm problems that we need to overcome and topics we would like to cover (involving science and social studies standards) . We will then narrow our topic down to one that is the most important to our class. We will research to find poems that support and relate to that topic. Then, we will write our own poems to express how we feel about the topic.

Results Presentation

Finally, we will bring our poems to life in the form of a Poetry Slam! We will perform our slam in front of 3rd grade students. In addition, we will create iMovies in order to share the Poetry Slam with other school officials and professionals in the writing field.

Supporting Activities
Activity 1
Activities to be completed:
Students will have watched a few example poems that were presented in a Poetry Slam. Then, they will discuss what the readers did in the poetry slam that made their presentation successful. They will make a list of the presenter strengths and styles that made their slam successful.

Computer Activities
Activity 1
Activities to be completed:
-Prior to going to computer
Brainstorm topics and themes that are important to 3rd graders that could be expressed through poetry in small groups. As a class, vote on topics to narrow the topics down to the most important one (or more than one and groups can choose) to the class.
Students can read through their poetry anthologies to see if any of the poems they already have address the topic.

-At the computer
Students will research to find poems that they can relate to that have a theme relating to their topic. Students will copy and paste at least one poem into their Google Docs.

-After going to the computer
The student will practice reading the poem they have chosen and decide what parts will be emphasized and how they can bring the poem alive to their audience.

Supporting Activities
Activity 2
Activities to be completed:
Review all poetry writing strategies that students know. Share out the most important ideas to make their slam strong and effective. Review figurative language.

Computer Activities
Activity 2
Activities to be completed:
-Prior to going to computer
Students must have completed Activity 1.
TSW listen to poetry forms that they can choose from to write their own poem based on the class topic.

-At the computer
TSW use the format chosen to write their own original poem expressing their thoughts and feelings about the topic. Students will share their document with the teacher for comments, revision suggestions, and editing suggestions.

-After going to the computer
TSW practice reading their original poem and decide what parts will be emphasized, how they can use their voice and inflections, and how they can bring this poem alive for their audience.

Supporting Activities
Activity 3
Activities to be completed:
Students will learn and explore how to use iMovie to record their poem, slam style.

Computer Activities
Activity 3
Activities to be completed:
-Prior to going to computer
Students must have completed activities 1 and 2.
TSW will prepare to present their poems Poetry Slam style. They will present to 3rd grade students.

-At the computer
Students will record presentations with iMovie and edit them either individually or in small groups.
TSW then upload their movie onto our class blackboard page for parents, school officials, and writers to view and respond to. Finally, TSW respond to a form on Google Docs about this learning experience.

-After going to the computer
Students will share their responses in small groups and fill out a group work rubric to turn in.

Rotation Plan for Technology
Ideally, individual Mac Books are best for use in Problem Based Learning activities.
One for each pair of students could work.
At the least, we will need at least one Mac Book per group of 4.

Student Evaluation:

iMovie/Poetry Slam Rubric


Objective or

Exemplary Accomplished Developing Beginning Score

Research Above and beyond 2 or more poems 1 poem that No poem found
expectations that relate to the relates to the or poem does not
theme theme relate to the theme

Original Poem Above and beyond At least one poem At least one Weak poem, not
expectations that is well poem focused on the
developed, uses that is focused theme, or no
figurative language, on the theme original poem
is focused on theme

Presentation Above and beyond Poem is presented Poem is presented Poem is presented
expectations with a strong, with a good, in a monotone
dynamic voice expressive voice voice and/or the
and successfully and portrays the message is not
portrays the message message to the conveyed to the
to the audience audience audience

Technology Above and beyond At least 2 poems Atleast 2 poems Only 1 poem
expectations successfully recorded recorded into an or no poem
and edited into iMovie having a recorded into
an iMovie, and few mistakes in an iMovie
iMovie hyperlinked editing, and and/or not
to Blackboard page hyperlinked to hyperlinked to
Blackboard page the Blackboard

TOTAL _____/_____

Computers are such an integral part of education now that as a teacher, having a classroom set, a 1:1 ratio computer to student, would revolutionize my classroom. It is a necessary tool for 21st Century problem based learning.
Cross-Curriculum Ideas
Problem based learning can take place in any subject area. I used a combination of language arts, technology, science or social studies in my lesson. A classroom lab would allow me to do more problem based learning in all curricular areas. A poetry slam is a fantastic way to allow kids to express themselves and their feelings about issues that are real to them. Through their writing we can figure out relevant life problems to utilize in the classroom.
A bi-monthly Poetry Slam would be held at the local coffee shop for community members to attend. iMovies would be made of all of these to be viewed on our local cable access channel.
Materials: Mobile Labs, Flash/USB Drives, Video Tools, Speech and Language