Unit Plan

I Didn’t Know that was Poetry

This I Didn’t Know that was Poetry unit plan also includes:

Poetry or prose? That is the question facing middle schoolers as they begin a month-long poetry unit by examining the characteristics that differentiate poetry and prose writing. Pupils learn about poetic devices and different types of poems and then craft their own poems to demonstrate their understanding of the concepts. To end the unit, individuals produce a Poetry Portfolio and share their work with the class. A great unit that deserves a special slot in your curriculum library.

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CCSS: Adaptable
Instructional Ideas
  • Have the class contribute to a large Venn diagram that compares the characteristics of different forms of communication (speeches, songs, articles, essays, poems, etc)
  • Set up the classroom as an open-mike jazz cafe and have poets share their work 
  • Save several poetry packets to use as models in subsequent years
Classroom Considerations
  • Although designed for eighth-graders, the unit is appropriate for any middle school language arts class
  • Writers need access to devices with internet connections and word processing apps
  • The 43-page packet includes a unit calendar with brief descriptions of each day's activities, detailed lesson plans, printouts, assessments, and rubrics for the projects
  • A homework activity asks pupils to work with a family partner to find examples of poetic devices in their home
  • None