We read Knoxville, Tennessee, by Nikki Giovanni, as our common text today. The poem turned out to be a good bridge between the Writers Read focus of this week, "How do writers use sensory details to create an experience for the reader?" and the question that we use to help us find subjects for free verse poems, "Where does poetry hide?".
After we read it together, the students highlighted one detail from Knoxville for each of their five senses, and we also talked about where Giovanni "found" her poem. I shared my own list next, and then the kids got a good start on theirs, too, before taking them home to continue with.
For our next Writers Read, the students will choose a descriptive passage from their independent reading and do a found poetry activity with it. After that, they'll do some free-writing on one of their poetry topics, taking care to include sensory details, and then we'll work to cut the free-writes into poems using the same strategies, as well as some mini-lessons on free verse poetry.