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Poetry Video Project

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Keywords: ESOL, movie making, poetry
Subject(s): Information Skills, Video, Spelling, Technology, Grammar, Writing, Drama, Speech and Language, Foreign Language, Reading, English/Language Arts
Grades P-K through 12
NETS-S Standard:
  • Creativity and Innovation
  • Communication and Collaboration
  • Digital Citizenship
  • Technology Operations and Concepts
View Full Text of Standards
School: Winchester Elementary School, Winchester, NH
Planned By: Emily Bennett
Original Author: Emily Bennett, Winchester
Poetry Unit
Step by Step Lesson Guide
CLASS PERIOD #1 (30 min.)
1. Begin by showing students www.favoritepoem.org. Watch “The Sloth”. Tell them that each student in their class will choose a poem to memorize, just like this student did.
2. Ask: what did you like about this video? What did the student do to make the video interesting? Think about costumes, location, voice inflection and expressive speaking, eye contact with the camera, etc. Each student should think of two things they liked about the video, and then Think-Pair-Share. With student ideas, develop a class poster entitled, “How to Make My Poetry Video Great!” Have student groups come up to the poster to write their ideas one by one, or teacher can be there writing ideas to speed up the process. Share out all ideas afterwards.
CLASS PERIOD #2 (45 min.)
3. Go to the library. Have a collection of poetry books set aside on tables. Read a few poems aloud to generate interest in different types of poems. Each student should choose a book, look through it, and find a poem that speaks to him/her. They can trade books, share books, but everyone must find a different poem. When they’ve found it, tell the teacher, and begin reading it and rereading it. Teacher should write down all poem titles and authors, and make two copies of each (one for student to take home, and one for teacher copy.) If someone doesn’t find one they like and wants to use a poem from home, that is fine. Try to encourage students to choose poems at appropriate length and difficulty for each individual.
CLASS PERIOD #3 (30 min.)
4. Time to practice! Practice poems at home as homework, to begin with. This can be an assignment for one whole week, or more as needed. Then, in a class period, students should get together in partners or small groups to read or recite their poem to their peers. Peers should give two positive statements of feedback and one helpful hint regarding performance of the poem. For example, “I like how you looked at me when you were speaking, and you stood straight up without fidgeting. I think if you spoke in a louder voice, it would be easier to hear you.” Then after getting the feedback, they should try it again and keep in mind what their partners said.
CLASS PERIOD #4 (30 min.+homework)
5. Now, we need to discuss the personal introductions, like students saw in the video. They should fill out the attached organizer to help them, but it is only a guide and can be altered if students feel they have a different way to introduce themselves. These should be unique! Take it home to finish if class time does not allow. It also might be a good thing to get ideas from family about hobbies, family members, etc. The costumes and props can be brought from home, so this should be discussed with family as well.
6. More peer feedback, and turn in personal introduction plans. Students should bring in their complete organizer and meet in partners or small groups to get feedback. Then, pass these in to the teacher.
CLASS PERIOD #6 (30 min.)
7. Write an outline for your script. These personal introductions should sound natural, so each student will make a list on an index card of the important points they want to talk about. Only use key words so it will not be something they are tempted to read. Model how to speak from a card that only has a few words on it. Students will write, and then practice reading to a partner. Give each other feedback.
CLASS PERIOD #7 (do this as much or little as needed!)
8. Practice with a partner. Students will first recite their poem, then say their personal introductions, and then recite the poems a second time to end the video. This can be done whenever students have extra time, for homework, in a class period, etc.
9. A teacher will pull out individual students to record the videos. The students should have props they need, they should be recording the video in a place that makes sense (in the gym if it’s a poem about exercise, in a classroom if it’s about schoolwork, in a nurse’s office if it’s about getting sick, etc.) Or, they can choose to do the poem where they feel comfortable. They should speak loudly and the teacher will check the video to make sure it is what the student and teacher want. Each video should only take about five to ten minutes to record. We will record them using the iMovie app purchased on an iPad.

10. Video editing. This can be done by the student using iMovie. Students can create a class “trailer”, which is very professional-looking and inspires great interest for the actual iMovie! It will be made into a class “poetry movie” that can be watched at a special time!

Personal Introduction Organizer for My Poetry Project:
My Name

Title and author of poem (Memorize the poem)

What does this poem mean to me?

My age, family, hobbies, interesting or special things about me

Props I will need to bring for the video

Where I should record my video (on school property)

Great for ESOL, special education, gifted students, foreign language, and really, every student!
poetry unit, poetry writing, poetry contests
Links: link to Favorite Poem website
Materials: Mobile Labs, Video Cameras, Camera/Video Accessories, English/Language Arts, Reading, Literacy, ESL, Foreign Language, Inspiration, Video Tools, Integrating Technology, Speech and Language