Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Wrap it in a Poem

My students recently took a practice test for our state's standardized exam which revealed that they needed a little refresher in identifying organizational patterns, which are also known as text structures. The most common of these? Chronological, compare and contrast, cause and effect, description, problem/solution, and sequence or process.

I like to plan such lessons from both a receptive and productive approach, so I explained to them why knowing about these patterns was important both as a reader and a writer, and I gave them a handy reference sheet with all the signal words they might need; for example cause and effect writing relies heavily on since, because, this led to, on account of, due to, for this reason, consequently, etc.

But, hey! It's poetry month, people! So to give them practice using transition words, I created a new challenge for the day... the Process Poem!

Process writing describes a series of steps or events. A coherent process description requires a clear purpose or unifying idea (thesis). There are two basic types of process writing: directions (how to do something) and information (how something works).Process writing uses a specific signal words such as:

after that,
at the same time,
by then,

Today's challenge: Write a fanciful "How to" poem of at least 6-10 lines. Use the transition words to help you, but be creative and add figurative language!

Here's an example:
How to Make the Perfect Sunday 
by Ms. S 

First take a scoop of a Friday fun,
then add a second scoop of Saturday swirl. 
Next smother it in warm sunshine, 
followed by sweet whipped dreams,
and after that rainbow sprinkles.
Lastly, don't forget the cheerful on top!
Finally-- enjoy!

"Hey!" one student raised her hand when I shared the example. "Sunday and sundae? I see what you did there!"

But, did she though? Did she really?

1 comment:

  1. Love the poem and the idea! Process poetry - Matt will love this. Can't wait to read them.