A Poetry-Inspired Writing Lesson from WritingFix
Focus Trait: SENTENCE FLUENCY Support Trait: IDEA DEVELOPMENT

Navigating WritingFix:

WritingFix Homepage

Poetry Lesson Collection

Right-Brained Lesson Collection

________________

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.)

Teacher's Guide:

Poems of Apology

"this is just to say" that I hope you forgive me...sort of

This on-line writing lesson was designed by
NNWP Teacher Consultant Todd Herman.

In 2008, this lesson was presented at
the NNWP's Piňon Poetry Festival.

This on-line writing prompt is based on a poem by William Carlos Williams. Teacher Joyce Sidman, who has her students study and impersonate the poem, created a wonderful collection of poems by her students called This is Just to Say...

To our loyal WritingFix users: Please use this link if purchasing This is Just to Say... from Amazon.com, and help keep WritingFix free and on-line. We thank you!

A note for teachers: 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:

This is Just to Say
by William Carlos Williams

I have eaten
the plums
that were in
the icebox

and which
you were probably
saving
for breakfast

Forgive me
they were delicious
so sweet
and so cold

Step one (sharing the published model): 

Enjoy Joyce Sidman’s This is Just to Say as a read-aloud with your students.  Start by sharing William Carlos Williams poem from the overhead below. Then choose several different examples, depending on your audience and grade level. Then ask them, "How does each author make sure his new poem sounds so much like the original poem?" and "How does each author make sure his new poem has unique qualities from the original?"

From Todd Herman, this lesson's author: "Tell students they will be writing their own apology poem. Print and show as overheads the first two pages of her book.  The first overhead shows two poems, one by William Carlos Williams, the other by a member of Sidman’s class, I suggest the very first poem, the one dealing with powdered doughnuts.  Read these poems together as a class. The second overhead would be a response back to the writer of the poem. Read this poem together as a class. Then discuss how the poems are the same and in what ways are they different."


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.  Encourage the students to talk about the sentence fluency in each poem, and then to talk about how idea development was accomplished by the writer.

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): The first button of the interactive prompt on the Student Instruction Page provides some pretty good suggestions for verbs in their poems. The second interactive button is a list of possible topics that students could write about. Instead of giving students free reign to begin with, you might select one topic to apologize for--like not turning in homework or an important assignment--for the whole class to write on, and then allow them to all write about any topic they have interest in.  You can also let students write their poems with partners or with small groups.

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 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 poet William Carlos Williams by clicking here.


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

© WritingFix. All rights reserved.