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Using I Poems to Teach Poetry, Literacy, and a Sense of Place to English Language Learners

http://www.ltl.appstate.edu/prodlearn/prodlearn/summer_2007/Faulkner_Bobbi/art3.html

Using I Poems to Teach Poetry, Literacy, and a Sense of Place to English Language Learners

Context

Then: This unit was created as partial fulfillment for RE 5130, Teaching the  Language Arts, with Dr. Beth Frye as I worked towards my masters in Reading Education K-12 at Appalachian State University.  With this project, we were introduced to the idea of using poetry to explore other content areas.  I am a lover of poetry, so I was enthused by this novel way of integrating poetry into content.  The focus of my communication skills class, a locally required class for 10th graders, is Writing, mainly informational and research writing.  As soon as I was given this assignment, I began to think of ays to integrate the two types of writing we had been studying into the poetry unit.  The informational writing component of the course id geared to the NC 10th Grade Writing Test.  In order to make this type of writing more appealing, I had tried to make it more personal to the students.  When learning about writing definition papers, the overarching theme was "Define Yourselves."  This approach proved very effective as was evidenced by students' attentiveness in class and their writing samples.  Dr. Frye's assignment was to integrate a poetry unit in our classroom that used poetry as a vehicle for learning about other content areas.  Thus, I designed this unit using the I-Poem.  Because students were researching the country in which they were born, this unit fit well with the "Define Yourself" theme and allowed me to broach the topic of research writing in a much less painful manner.
Now:  I have since used the research(ed) poem in all of my classes as a way for students to learn and practice research skills.  Stay tuned for more posts detailing how I implemented these poems and providing resources for you educators out there!

I Poem Poetry Unit

Learning Context:  This unit was developed for and implemented in my tenth grade communications skills class, comprised entirely of Hispanic ELL students.  The focus of this course is writing, both for the tenth grade writing test as well as learning other modes of writing, including research writing.

Plan: 
  • On day one, I began this unit by introducing the I-Poem format and by reading a poem about myself that I had written using this format.
  • Then, I invited students to write their own poems about themselves in the same manner.  Students followed up by sharing their poems.
  • The next day, we evaluated literary models of this format. First, I read Atlantic by  G.B. Karas.  
  • I introduced students to the idea that the I Poem is a way to tell information about all kinds of things.
  •  I conducted a mini-lesson on figurative language:  personification, metaphor, and simile. 
  • The students were placed into groups to evaluate other literary models:   Sierra, Heartland, and Mojave by Diane Siebert.
  • Then, students had to choose a topic to research.  I invited them to research the country of their birth and gave them a checklist of facts to search for.
  •   I also shared with them several other examples of the I Poem, including mine on Kerr Lake.
  •   I conducted a mini-lesson on how to express factual information in the format of an I Poem.
  •  We also discussed the fact that students needed to cite the sources they used to find information.
  • Students read their research and write their poems, highlighting information they would like to include in their writing.
  • Then, using the rubric and peer editing, students revised and edited their poems.
  • Finally, they presented their poems to several classes, in English and in Spanish.

Teacher Model Using the I Poem as a Research(ed) Poem:


red eyed tree frog


I am the red-eyed tree frog,
Agalychnis Callidryas.
My scientific name sings like a song.
From Greek, it means “beautiful tree nymph.”

I live in the forest
screeching with life:
birds squawk, monkeys chatter, snakes slither, frogs croak.
Warm air, heavy with moisture.
 Leaves on bushes & trees sag with the weight of water droplets.

I am the red-eyed tree frog.
Up in the tree, I sit, legs ready to climb.
Look high, look hard—
You won’t see me.
My skin matches the brilliant green leaves perfectly.

I am nocturnal—
And like a vampire, the night belongs to me.
I sleep in the bright sunlight, my blood warming.
I am an amphibian.

I sleep in the broad daylight, but I am not vulnerable.
I have my sly defenses you see.
If my camouflage green fails,
I pop my red eyes open.
I unfurl my bright legs.

my would-be tormentor (snake, bat, spider, or bird)
 is confused momentarily,
and I leap away.


I am Agalychnis Callidryas,
born a squirmy tadpole swimming in water.
But, like magic, I change into what I was destined to be.
I leave the water and climb up trees.
Metamorphosis.

Some call me the red-eyed leaf frog.
I live on all continents except Antarctica—brrr.
I especially like the rainforests of Central and South America.
I have as many homes as a rich retiree.

I am the beautiful tree nymph—
my blue inner thighs are disorienting,
My big red eyes bewitching,
my orange or red feet
beguiling, especially to the insects I eat.

Yum.  The cricket is my favorite.
Crunch, crunch.  Ahh.
I am a carnivore
from the family Hylidae.

I am the red-eyed tree frog
Agalychnis Callidryas.
My scientific name sings like a song.
From Greek, it means “beautiful tree nymph.”
                                                                                                            Bobbi Faulkner

Student Research(ed) Poem Work Sample A:


   I am Puerto Rico          
I am Puerto Rico, tropical, bonito                                                                                             
I wonder what happened to the first church, San Jose.
I hear that people here are the best rappers.
I see people dancing reggaeton
I want to win the BSN game, Los Turistas de cabo rojo 
I am Puerto Rico, tropical, bonito

I pretend that I am hot
I feel coborrojeno famouse of cabo Rojo lighthouse
I touch the Punta Real Beach,
I worry about the Mata con hacha (“those who kill with axes”)
I cry when my people immigrate to USA
I am the number uno “Puerto Rico”

I understand why all the people love “Puerto Rico”
I say that I am the beautiful one in Puerto Rico-- “Cabo Rojo”
I dream to have more land
I try too much to be so hot
I hope that I can win the BSN game Los toristas de cabo rojo
I am the number one “Puerto Rico”

by Oscar

Student Research(ed) Poem Work Sample B

Iam beautiful Guatemala, only Totonicapán.
I wonder what happened to the ancient Mayans.
I hear the marimba, the drum of the chirimía.  
I see the beautiful dances of the pascarines. 
I want to work on tying jasper for my food.
I am beautiful Guatemala, only Totonicapán.

I pretend to be a good place but some one don’t understand me.
I feel happy and sometimes I feel sad.
I touch my heart but I don’t feel; I think it’s broken.
I worry about my people because of too much violence.
I cry when the people kill each life.
I am beautiful Guatemala, only Totonicapán.

I understand when the people don’t love me.
I say I don’t care when I’m despised just for being poor.
I dream for more work and more peace for each people.
I try to change people to love Totonicapán.
I hope each of the trees don’t cry any more.
I am beautiful Guatemala, only Totonicapán.   


By Maria

Oral Presentation Rubric:  I Poem Presentation

CATEGORY
4
3
2
1
Preparedness
Student is completely prepared and has obviously rehearsed.
Student seems prepared but might have needed a couple more rehearsals.
The student is somewhat prepared, but it is clear that rehearsal was lacking.
Student does not seem at all prepared to present.
Speaks Clearly
Speaks clearly and distinctly all (95%-100%) of the time and mispronounces no words.
Speaks clearly and distinctly all (95%-100%) the time, but mispronounces one word.
Speaks clearly and distinctly most (85%-94%) of the time.  Mispronounces no more than one word.
Often mumbles or can not be understood OR mispronounces more than one word.
Content
Shows a full understanding of the topic.
Shows a good understanding of the topic.
Shows a good understanding of part of the topic.
Does not seem to understand the topic very well.
Posture and Eye Contact
Stands up straight, looks relaxed and confident.  Establishes eye contact with everyone in the room during the presentation.
Stands up straight and establishes eye contact during the presentation.
Sometimes stands up straight and establishes eye contact.
Slouches and/or does not look at the audience during the presentation.
Volume
Volume is loud enough to be heard by all audience members throughout the presentation.
Volume is loud enough to be heard by all audience members at least 90% of the time.
Volume is loud enough to be heard by all audience members at least 80% of the time.
Volume often too soft to be heard by all audience members.
Listens to Other Presentations
Listens intently.  Does not make distracting noises or movements.
Listens intently but has one distracting noise or movement.
Sometimes does not appear to be listening but is not distracting.
Sometimes does not appear to be listening and has several distracting noises or movements.

I Am Poem Rubric:  Written Work

CATEGORY
5
4
3
2
SCORE
Historical/factual accuracy
All historical/factual information appears to be accurate.
Almost all historical/factual information appears to be accurate.
Most of the historical/factual information is accurate.
Very little of the historical/factual information is accurate.

Voice
Point-of-view, details, and personification consistently in character.
Point-of-view, details, and personification often in character.
Point-of-view, details, and personification sometimes in character.
Point-of-view, details, and personification rarely in character.

Required Elements
Student included more information than was required.
Student included all information that was required.
Student included most information that was required.
Student included less information than was required.

Extras—pictures, shaped poems, etc.





Sources

Students properly cited at least 3 sources.
3 sources used but not properly documented.
2 sources used and/or not properly documented.
No resources page—sources not documented.


rubric made using rubistar


This post first appeared on Out Of Her Mind, please read the originial post: here

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Using I Poems to Teach Poetry, Literacy, and a Sense of Place to English Language Learners

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