ERIC Number: ED476531
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2002-Jun-10
Enhancing a Poetry Unit with American Memory. Learning Page Lesson Plan.
Westfall, Alison; Mitchell, Laura
Broadly speaking, all poetry is "found" somewhere, in something which inspires a writer to want to develop his or her thoughts in verse. However, inspiration is sometimes lacking for both experienced poets and new ones, such as students who are required to write poetry for a class. "Found poetry" can serve as an antidote to an experienced poet's block, but it can also get a new poet rolling with the use of someone else's language, images, cadences, and observations about life. "American Life Histories: Manuscripts from the Federal Writers' Project, 1936-1940" provides a wealth of material on which to find "Found Poetry." In this lesson, designed for the 7th to 9th grades, students draw on "American Life Histories" to compose "found poetry." Students will draw on the language (dialect, jargon, descriptive detail, etc.), arrange and rearrange it, add language of their own, and ultimately create new poems which honor the histories, but are indeed the students' own work. This unit is best undertaken after students have studied a good amount of published poetry and are familiar with at least several different elements common to most verse. Selected manuscripts from the Federal Writers' Project are attached. (PM)
Descriptors: Lesson Plans, Poetry, Secondary Education, Student Motivation, United States History, United States Literature, Writing Instruction
The Library of Congress, 101 Independence Ave., SE, Washington, DC 20540. Tel: 202-707-5000. For full text: http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/ndlpedu/lessons/index.html.
Publication Type: Guides - Classroom - Teacher
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Practitioners; Teachers
Authoring Institution: Library of Congress, Washington, DC.