An I-Pod Inspired Poetry Lesson from WritingFix

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Teacher's Guide:

Things I Love Poems & Songs

exploring things you love in a poem or in a song

This lesson was created by NNWP Teacher Consultant Karen McGee who also hosts our Alphabet Books Across the Curriculum Homepage.

This writing prompt inspired by

"I Love" sung by Tom T. Hall

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 book, the poem, and the song:  Put four large heart-shaped pieces of chart paper on the board. Ask the students what those hearts represent. When the students talk about love, tell the students that today they will be writing about the various kinds of things that they love. Then, read the Brigitte Minne’s book, I Love, aloud.

Ask the students to turn to a partner and share with that partner after you offer the following prompts:

  • Talk about one thing you love to do in the winter, spring, summer, and fall.
  • Talk about something you love to do with either your mother or father.
  • Talk about something you love to eat.
  • Talk about someone you love and why that person is so special to you.

Now, ask the students to share their ideas with the entire group as you put their ideas on the four charts:

  • Something you love to do
  • Something that you love to feel
  • Something that you love to eat
  • Someone you love

If students talk about loving food items like chocolate, probe for more detail, like: What kind of chocolate do you love best? What else do you love to eat that has chocolate in it? If students talk about loving sports, probe for specific details like: Do they love to play a sport, and if so, which one. What part of that sport is the best? Do they love to watch that sport in real life or on T.V. Do they like to talk to their friends or family members about that sport?

Remind the students that these four charts will act as Content Word Walls (to be used for spelling purposes) and as an idea springboard.

Next, play the song “I Love” by Tom T. Hall. You can find a video version of this song on You-Tube. Put the lyrics on the overhead and play it again so that you and the students can sing the song along with Tom. T. Hall.

Inform students that they will be writing their own poems/songs about things they love.

Younger students will use the song "I Love" as a model for their poems. Older students will use the title poem from Eloise Greenfield's Honey, I Love (and Other Love Poems) as their model for their poems.

With older students doing this lesson, read Eloise Greenfield's poem slowly. Put a copy of the poem on the overhead, and read it a second time, allowing the students to see the poem as they listen. Examine the poem closely, asking students to notice what Greenfield did to compose each stanza of the poem (rhyming couplets, repetition of words and phrases). Be sure to point out the rhythm of the poem so that students who can’t or don’t want to rhyme can still build the rhythm and follow the model.

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 y ou might prompt your students to talk about each model's word choice as well.

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:  Introduce this pre-writing template with younger students. With the help of the students, fill out the template using information from the four charts. After the addition of each line, sing the song to check that the word choice matches the rhythm of the song. Remind younger students that Tom T. Hall’s song reflects the things that he loves. Their job will be to write a song that reflects the things that they love. They can use the charts for ideas and spelling, and they need to sing each line they write to check for the appropriate rhythm of the song.

With older students, fill out this version of the pre-writing template. You might pull your lowest functioning students to a table to support them during this stage of the writing. Depending on the age of the students or level of disability, you may choose to write another group poem with the students before they start doing this independently.

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):   Two tools for revision are provided below. You can use one or both, depending on how much time you have to spend on this assignment. One way older students can revise their songs is to attempt some rhymes while still making sense. 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 Tom T. Hall by clicking here.

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