Bright Ideas Lesson Plans
Paper and Poetry
This activity is wonderful for exposing students to the people that the news is all about. It also encourages critical thinking skills and higher order thinking. The final product is a beautiful collection of poetry.
The steps are simple. Students read stories about people in the news. Because of the recent NBA All-Star game and my students´ heightened interest in sports, I chose to focus on the sports section. As students read the articles, they identify specific struggles of the athletes and occurrences that called for celebration. After a whole-class discussion, we turned our attention to the national theme of this month--African American History. Students were to recollect moments in history when African-Americans struggled and celebrated. We discussed slavery, politics, education and specific contributions to the civilized world by African Americans. With the background from the newspaper on how authors use descriptive words and vivid phrases, students were encouraged to transform their mental images into poetry. The assignment was to write two poems, one entitled "The Struggle" and another called "The Celebration." The products were phenomenal and worthy of publication. I have decided to compile the work of my students into a class collection of poetry--"The African-American Struggle and Celebration."
With simple prompting and examples from the newspaper, students were able to create unique masterpieces that tell the history of a great people. The students are amazed at how professionally they worked and truly believe that they are poets. They enjoyed the process and unfolding of their products. They also enjoyed learning new ways to make connections. In this activity, we connected the newspaper and objectives and standards to a national celebration.
5th Grade Gifted
Palm Terrace Elementary School