K-12 Teaching and Learning From the UNC School of Education

LEARN NC was a program of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Education from 1997 – 2013. It provided lesson plans, professional development, and innovative web resources to support teachers, build community, and improve K-12 education in North Carolina. Learn NC is no longer supported by the School of Education – this is a historical archive of their website.

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This compendium of poetry resources from our collections includes many great websites, articles, and lesson plans.
Format: bibliography/help
Figurative language: Metaphor
This lesson is a part of a unit on poetry and figurative language. It is designed to teach students the characteristics of metaphor within the context of poetry.
Format: lesson plan (grade 6 English Language Arts)
By Nancy Meyers.
Story tellers and poets
Students will examine the style, purpose, and organization of folktales and poetry in order to gain a deeper understanding and appreciation of both genres. With this knowledge, students will use the word choice and repetition of traditional folktales to transform them into modern poetry.
Format: lesson plan (grade 8–10 English Language Arts)
By Heather Bower and Michele Hicks.
Death of an Old Carriage Horse
In Antebellum North Carolina, page 6.11
In North Carolina History: A Sampler, page 9.4
Poem by George Moses Horton. Includes historical and literary commentary.
Format: poetry/primary source
By George Moses Horton.
Creating found poetry from picture books
Students select and read a picture book and afterwards create “found poetry” based on the picture book.
Format: lesson plan (grade 7 English Language Arts)
By Barbara Groome and Jo Peterson Gibbs.
Singing the "Song of Life"
This lesson requires students to use their reading, comprehension, and analysis skills to analyze a poem and respond creatively to the selection.
Format: lesson plan (grade 9–12 English Language Arts)
By Angela Taylor.
Positively poetry
Students will be learning about and writing limericks. Since limericks follow a strict rhyming pattern and word count, the students will work in partners to create their own limericks.
Format: lesson plan (grade 2–4 English Language Arts and Information Skills)
By Maribeth Warren, Pam Purifoy, and Tracy Dagenhart.
Introducing simple machines: A machine walk
This is an integrated lesson exploring simple machines. The poetry response part of this lesson serves to spark the students' interest as well as allow the teacher to identify students' prior knowledge of machine concepts and vocabulary. The machine walk gives a baseline assessment of students' understanding. The majority of students originally focus on complex machines; this will be evident by the types of machines they identify on their list.
Format: lesson plan (grade 4 English Language Arts)
By Terri Fannin.
Slipsliding poetry
Students will work with a partner to write an original piece of poetry to express information learned about the rain forest and an animal that lives in that habitat. Students will share their poems by creating a multimedia slide show.
Format: lesson plan (grade 4 English Language Arts and Science)
By Angela Hodges.
Casey at the Bat
The Walking Classroom students share with The Walking Classroom the narrative poem, “Casey at the Bat.” The students break apart the poem stanza by stanza to show how narrative poetry tells a story.
Format: audio/podcast
Holding a poetry slam
Introducing students to “the competitive art of performance poetry” builds enthusiasm for literature among even reluctant readers. This article explains how a high school in Cleveland County, North Carolina, held its first poetry slam.
Format: article
By Nancy Blalock.
Topics in English Language Arts Education
In Preservice teacher education resources, page 1.2
Resources Specific to English Writing Instruction Teaching the Writing...
Format: article/teacher's guide
Poetry through music: "Smooth"
This lesson draws students into a study of poetry, using Carlos Santana and Rob Thomas' "Smooth" as an entry point.
Format: lesson plan (grade 7 English Language Arts and English Language Development)
By Andrea Belletti.
Career research and acrostic poetry
In CareerStart lessons: Grade six, page 1.6
In this lesson for grade 6, each student will research a chosen career and will use the information to create an acrostic poem.
Format: lesson plan (grade 6–8 English Language Arts and Guidance)
By Holly Grout, Deborah Smith, and Natalie Summers.Adapted by Jennifer Brookshire and Julie McCann.
Cause and effect
Students will identify and interpret cause and effect as expressed in poetry.
Format: lesson plan (grade 3–4 English Language Arts)
By Rochelle Mullis.
Visualizations: Black poet, Langston Hughes
Third grade or fourth grade students will have an opportunity to read and appreciate selected poetry of the African-American poet, Langston Hughes.
Format: lesson plan (grade 3–5 English Language Arts and Information Skills)
By Floanna Long.
Maya Angelou: Study and response to "Still I Rise"
Students read biographical information on Maya Angelou and her poem, "Still I Rise." Students identify support and elaboration in poem, then respond by either writing a letter to the author or his/her own poem in response.
Format: lesson plan (grade 7–8 English Language Arts)
By Barbara Groome and Jo Peterson Gibbs.
LEARN NC lesson plans
In Philosophy resources for educators, page 2.4
This page provides links to LEARN NC elementary lesson plans that may be altered to include philosophical elements.
Format: bibliography
Native American poetry workshop
This week-long set of lessons uses four different center activities to help students respond to poetry written by American Indians. This lesson plan was written with ESL (English as a second language) students in mind, so there are many opportunities to practice vocabulary, discuss and talk with others, and model expectations.
Format: lesson plan (grade 4 English Language Arts and Social Studies)
By Liz Mahon.
Diamante poetry using environments: Day two
This lesson will introduce and reinforce learners' understanding of habitat components within an environment. This lesson was designed to be used after the lesson "Animal environments: Day one."
Format: lesson plan (grade 4 English Language Arts and Science)
By Cheri Cole.