An I-Pod Inspired Poetry Lesson from WritingFix
Focus Trait: WORD CHOICE Support Trait: VOICE

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This lesson's author:

Jamie Priddy has been a Northern Nevada Writing Project Teacher Consultant since 2007. She teaches high school in Reno, Nevada.

Jamie keeps a personal portfolio of work here at WritingFix.

Teacher's Guide:

Paradox
Poetry

poetically examining contradictory situations in the world around us

This lesson was built for WritingFix after being proposed by NNWP Teacher Consultant Jamie Priddy during an I-Pods Across the Curriculum Workshop for teachers.

This writing prompt inspired by

"Inaudible Melodies," sung by Jack Johnson.

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 :

Pre-step…before sharing the published model:   Explain to students what a paradox is. Give them a definition – a statement or concept that contains conflicting ideas. Also give a few examples – “I always lie” or “Less is more” are two examples that help students grasp the concept. Discuss how each of these is an example of a paradox and how each of these examples shows the difference between perception and reality. Explain to students that even though a paradox is a contradictory statement, we may be able to find some truth in it.


Step one…sharing the published model:    Distribute this graphic organizer, which contains the paradoxes from each song that will be played during the lesson. Have students fill in the first two boxes for each paradox – how each is an example of a paradox, and what some real life situations are that could create this paradox.

Once students have had a chance to fill in these boxes and share some examples, distribute the lyrics to the two songs cited in this lesson. First, play Inaudible Melodies by Jack Johnson and have students fill in the rest of the graphic organizer based on this song. To help students fill in the graphic organizer, ask them how Jack Johnson thinks society perceives itself and what he thinks the reality actually is. Ask students to point to specific examples from the song that demonstrate this. What words did Jack Johnson use in the song to show the difference between perception and reality? This relates to the trait of word choice. When discussing the tone or the mood of the song, point out that this directly relates directly to the trait of voice.

Then play She by Green Day and have students fill in the rest of the graphic organizer based on this song. To help students fill in the graphic organizer for this song, ask them what the difference is between perception and reality is for the girl being described. Students may want to brainstorm ideas about what the force is that is holding her down – parents, peers, society, etc. Have students point out what words in the song show the difference between perception and reality as this relates directly to the trait of word choice. Also discuss the tone or mood of this song and how it might be slightly different from the Jack Johnson song as this relates directly to the trait of voice.


Step two…introducing student models of writing:  To give them an idea of the writing assignment at hand, in small groups, have your students read and respond to any or all of the student models that come with this lesson.  The groups should certainly talk about the word choice and voice, since these are the focus of the lesson.

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 and pre-writing: Now, use this planning organizer to help students begin to think deeply of a situation in which there could be a difference between perception and reality. If students have trouble coming up with unique ideas, encourage them to use the interactive buttons at the bottom of the student instructions page of this lesson.

They will then write a paradox to show the difference between perception and reality. The graphic organizer asks students to brainstorm some ideas for the free verse poem they will write based on the paradox they ultimately choose.

As students begin to draft, don't hesitate to showcase any student samples you may have, including the ones attached to this lesson. This will remind your writers that free verse poetry doesn't have to rhyme and doesn't have to follow any pattern.

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 four (revising with specific trait language):   To promote response and revision to students' first drafts, 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 out loud and on-line):  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 Jack Johnson by clicking here!


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