An I-Pod Inspired Poetry Lesson from WritingFix

Navigating WritingFix:

Return to the WritingFix Homepage

Return to the I-Pod Lesson Collection

Return to the Poetry Lesson Homepage


Navigating this lesson:

Lesson & 6-Trait Overview

Student Instructions

Teacher Instructions & Lesson Resources

Student Writing Samples from this Lesson


On-line Publishing:

Publish your students at our Ning!
(You must be a member of our "Writing Lesson of the Month" ning to post.)


Lisa Larson has been a Northern Nevada Writing Project Teacher Consultant since 2009. She teaches middle school in Reno, Nevada.

Lisa keeps a personal portfolio of work here at WritingFix.

Teacher's Guide:

Beautiful Noise

imagining what sounds look like and describing them in a poem

This lesson was created by NNWP Consultant Lisa Larson during an iPods Across the Curriculum Workshop.

This writing prompt is inspired by

"Beautiful Noise" sung by Neil Diamond

Click here to do a Google search for the lyrics.

A note for teacher users: These lessons are posted so that you may borrow ideas from them, but our intention in providing this resource is not to give teachers a word-for-word script to follow. Please, use this lesson's big ideas but adapt everything else. And adapt it recklessly; that's how you become an authentic writing teacher.

Teacher Instructions & Lesson Resources:

Step one…sharing the song and other inspiring media:  Pass out this “Mind Movie” graphic organizer to each student. Explain that they will be listening to 2 sound clips. (I use two 90-second clips that I found on YouTube. The first is a sword fight in which you can hear swords clanking against each, bodies hitting the ground and heavy breathing. The second is a clip of three children at the beach in which you can hear the water, the children yelling at each other and the toys they are playing with.) Whatever sound clips you choose to use, you should just play the sound, and not use any visuals. The lesson also works better if your sound clips are different enough from each other that students can make their own interpretations of the sounds.

Ask students to listen closely to the sounds they are about hear. Play the first clip and allow time for students to write down what they heard. Next, ask students to pay attention to the pictures that their mind creates when the clip is played again. After the second play-through, allow students enough time to write in the graphic organizer and illustrate what they heard. Have them share with a partner and then share as a whole group. Discuss different perspectives and insights.

Do the same thing with the second clip, allowing enough time to share with a partner and as a whole group.

Tell students they are now going to listen to a song that focuses on what the author heard one day while sitting in his apartment in the city. The song never mentions what he saw, but concentrates only on sounds. While they listen to “Beautiful Noise” by Neil Diamond, they should use the “Beautiful Noise” graphic organizer (which is the second page of the "Mind Movie" g.o.) to record the items that are heard in the song. Allow time for students to share their interpretations and then pass out the lyrics to the song. Play the song again and give students enough time to match their interpretations to the lyrics. Ask students to discuss in small groups what they heard and saw in the song.

Tell students they will be creating a poem that celebrates a noise they find beautiful.

Share Original Graphic Organizers (for Pre-Writing)
from Your Teaching Toolbox.

We share graphic organizers with our peers, we find them in books, and we think we should also be able to find tried-and-true ones online at WritingFix. This year, if you create an original graphic organizer (or adapt one of ours) when you teach this page's lesson, and post it, we might just end up publishing it directly here at WritingFix, and we will post it here, giving you full credit.

  • Original graphic organizers for specific lessons, like this one, can be submitted as an attachment at this link. Look for the "Reply to this Box" beneath the post. To be able to post, you will need to be a member of our free Writing Lesson of the Month Network.

Step two…introducing student models of writing:  In small groups, have your students read and respond to any or all of the student models that come with this lesson.  The groups will certainly talk about the idea development, since it's the focus of the lesson, but you might prompt your students to talk about each model's word choice as well.

  • Because this is a new lesson at WritingFix, we're looking for student samples for all grade levels for this prompt!  Help us get some, and we'll send you a free resource for your classroom!  Visit our student samples page for information.

WritingFix Safely Publishes Students from Around the World! In 2008, we first began accepting students samples from teachers anywhere who use this lesson. Hundreds of new published students now go up at our site annually!

We're currently looking for student samples for other grade levels for this lesson!  Help us obtain some from your students, and we'll send you a free resource for your classroom!  Visit this lesson's student samples page for details.

Step three…thinking, talking, and pre-writing:  Brainstorm a list as a class or use the interactive buttons on the students instructions page to choose a “beautiful noise” of their own.

Pass out the brainstorm sheet to each student. After completion, your students are now ready to begin their poem about their beautiful noise! You might play the song again while they are composing, or point out some idea development techniques or word choices on a printed copy of the remind them of the two traits they should be focusing on as they compose.

Step four (revising with specific trait language):   To promote response and revision to rough draft writing, attach WritingFix's Revision and Response Post-it® Note-sized templates to your students' drafts.  Make sure the students rank their use of the trait-specific skills on the Post-it® Note-sized templates, which means they'll only have one "1" and one "5."   Have them commit to ideas for revision based on their Post-It rankings.  For more ideas on WritingFix's Revision & Response Post-it® Note-sized templates, click here.

Share Original Revision Techniques or
Adaptations from Your Toolbox.

Inspired by Barry Lane's Reviser's Toolbox, the WritingFix website encourages its teacher users to adapt our lessons, especially the tools of revision we have posted here. If you create an original revision tool (or adapt one of ours) when you teach this page's lesson, and post it, we might just end up publishing it directly here at WritingFix, and we will post it here, giving you full credit.

  • Original revision ideas from teacher users of WritingFix can be submitted through copy/paste or as an attachment at this link. Look for the "Reply to this Box" beneath the post. To be able to post, you will need to be a member of our free Writing Lesson of the Month Network.


Step five (editing for conventions):  After students apply their revision ideas to their drafts and re-write neatly, require them to find an editor.   If you've established a "Community of Editors" among your students, have each student exchange his/her paper with multiple peers.  With yellow high-lighters in hand, each peer reads for and highlights suspected errors for just one item from the Editing Post-it.  The "Community of Editors" idea is just one of dozens and dozens of inspiring ideas that is talked about in detail in the Northern Nevada Writing Project's Going Deep with 6 Trait Language Workbook for Teachers.

Step six (publishing for the portfolio):   The goal of most lessons posted at WritingFix is that students end up with a piece of writing they like, and that their writing was taken through all steps of the writing process. After revising, invite your students to come back to this piece once more during an upcoming writer's workshop block.  The writing started with this lesson might become even more polished for final placement in the portfolio, or the big ideas being written about here might transform into a completely different piece of writing. Most likely, your students will enjoy creating an illustration for this writing as they ready to place final drafts in their portfolios.

Interested in publishing student work on-line? You might earn a free classroom resource from the NNWP! We invite teachers to teach this lesson completely, then share up to three of their students' best revised and edited samples at our ning's Publish Student Writers group.

To submit student samples for this page's lesson, click here. You won't be able to post unless you are a verified member of this site's Writing Lesson of the Month ning.

Learn more about Neil Diamond by clicking here.

WritingFix Homepage Lesson & 6-Trait Overview   Student Instructions
Teacher Instructions & Lesson Resources  Student Writing Samples

© WritingFix. All rights reserved.