Found Poetry

May 17, 2012 by

I had never heard of “found poetry” until I read about it a few years ago in Mentor Texts: Teaching Writing Through Children’s Literature K-6 (Dorfman and Cappelli, 2007).  Poets.org explains that “found poems take existing texts and refashion them, reorder them, and present them as poems. The literary equivalent of a collage, found poetry is often made from newspaper articles, street signs, graffiti, speeches, letters, or even other poems,” I haven’t actually used this technique with students yet, but it looks really fun and I want to!  I decided to try it myself today and create my own mentor text to have ready when the opportunity to use it with students arises. I selected an expository picture book called The Penguin.  Here is the text I used to “find my poem”: Fishing Champions...

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Simile

Oct 28, 2009 by

Writing Trait/Strategy: Word choice; simile   Mentor Text Suggestions: Easy as Pie: A Guessing Game of Sayings by M. Folsom If You Hopped Like a Frog by David M. Schwartz It Figures: Fun Figures of Speech by Marvin Terban Owl Moon by Jane Yolen (or any other book by Yolen) Quick as a Cricket by Audrey Wood More Similes by Joan Hanson Storm in the Night by Mary Stolz The Elephant’s Child by Rudyard Kipling There’s a Frog in My Throat by Loreen Leedy and Pat Street Description: A simile is a figure of speech that compares two things using the words “like” or “as” . The writer uses similes to create mind pictures for the reader. Simile Traveling Book Click here for traveling book directions. Choose a person that everyone in the class...

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Metaphor

Oct 28, 2009 by

Writing Trait/Strategy: Word choice; metaphor Mentor Text Suggestions: all the small poems and fourteen more by Valerie Worth Water Music by Jane Yolen Color Me a Rhyme by Jane Yolen Snow, Snow by Jane Yolen Do Not Feed the Table by Dee Lillegard Little Night by Yuri Morales Love is a Handful of Honey by Giles Andreae Miracle Tree by Christobel Mattingley Odes to Common Things by Pablo Neruda Once I Was Scared by Helena Pittman Ordinary Things by Ralph Fletcher Say Something by Mary Stolz Silver Seeds by Paul Paolilli and Dan Brewer The Patchwork Cat by William Mayne The Ocean Is… by Kathleen Kranking Description: Metaphor is a figure of speech that compares two things but does not use the words “like” or “as” (e.g., Ann is a walking encyclopedia). Metaphor is...

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Personification

Oct 28, 2009 by

Writing Trait/Strategy: Word choice; personification; poetry tools Mentor Text Suggestions: Arnie the Doughnut by Laurie Keller Dirty Laundry Pile by Paul Janeczko (ed.) Leaf Man by Lois Ehlert The Scarecrow and His Servant by Philip Pullman The Goldfish Yawned by Elizabeth Sayles School Supplies: A Book of Poems by Lee Bennett Hopkins The People Could Fly by Virginia Hamilton Winter Barn by Pater Parnell Description: Personification is a comparison in which something that is not human is described with human qualities. This tool is used especially by poets, but authors of other texts as well, to create mind pictures for the reader. Introduce this literary craft to students by pointing out examples in mentor texts such as those listed above.   Activity: Have students go on a “personification walk.” Have them make a list...

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Ordinary to Poetic

Oct 26, 2009 by

We also call this activity “Look at a ________ through a poet’s eyes.” Choose a subject. Things from nature or every day objects work well.  Have students use ordinary words and phrases to describe the subject. Then have them look at the subject in a different way and use metaphor and simile to describe it (Heard, 1999). Here is an example of one that my students did while looking at this conch shell:   Looking at a Shell with Poet’s Eyes: the ocean is reeking [sic] through slowly barnacles growing inside silky texture inside rigid texture outside pink like a pig a bumpy ice cream cone a magic castle Share...

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