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Language Arts > Creative Writing | Grade 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 | Curriculums

Finding Poetry in Primary Source Prose

Finding Poetry in Primary Source Prose
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About This Product

The writer, Annie Dillard, has said that turning a text into a poem doubles that poem's context.  "The original meaning remains intact, but now it swings between two poles."

The 35-page packet, Finding Poetry in Primary Source Prose, offers teachers another entry point into analyzing and interpreting primary source documents through creating Found Poetry. This packet can easily be used in Literature classes as well as History classes. Although this lesson is written as a group project for presentation, it is easy to modify it so that individual students can create their own found poems.

Many teachers are not exactly comfortable teaching students how to write poetry, and/or they haven’t considered the power that poetry writing can add to a History or Social Studies curriculum or a novel unit or narrative nonfiction unit in Language Arts.  Found Poetry is an easy way to engage students in difficult primary sources, enhance their understanding of the text, the event or experience, the time period, etc., and can help them access deeper levels of comprehension, analysis, and creativity. The Found Poems students write, whether in groups or individually, offer unique and often profound interpretations.

Learning Targets:

  • I can understand, analyze, and interpret a challenging primary source document.

  • I can write a found poem from a primary source historical document.

  • I can apply the elements of poetry to my found poem by looking for vivid images, interesting ideas, words, phrases, and sentences that evoke strong reactions and feelings

  • I can work collaboratively and cooperatively with my group to create and present our poem.

  • I can reflect on my own experience and my experience of working in a group to analyze a primary source document and create a found poem and present it.

Check out my store A Great Good Place for Teachers for other History and Language Arts lessons and resources

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What's Included

The 34-page lesson includes the following:

background information on Found Poetry

a detailed lesson plan for teachers, including Objectives, Learning Targets, and Standards (California Common Core Standards)

detailed student directions

5 sample primary source documents with both individual students' Found Poems and Group Project Found Poems

a rubric

a group and self-evaluation.

Resource Tags

Creative Writing Poetry prose primary source History Language Arts critical thinking analyzing and interpreting text

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