Teaching Poetry, Week 5: Revision, revision, revision – Srijanalaya
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    This week is oriented towards rounding out the workshop and creating something that students can be proud of! This workshop is best in two parts, but can be condensed to just one day if necessary. Ideally, it is followed by a student performance that same week.

    Goals include:

    • learning how to revise before editing

    • learning to recognize editing errors (spelling, grammar, etc.) and areas for improvement (via revision)

    • confidence

    • practicing reciting poetry, and learning techniques for effective recital!

    • reciting a finished piece in front of an audience

    Revision, Part 1

    Review and reread the work of the past few weeks together:

    • Favorite place free write and favorite sentence

    • exquisite corpse poems

    • Haiku

    • "I am..."

    • Acrostic poem

    Give students time to reread their poems carefully and slowly. They can even read them aloud to each other.

    Students should pick their favorite piece to edit and revise, or they can choose to write a new free poem on a theme of their choosing (with approval from the teacher).



    Begin by reviewing the writing process, as illustrated below:

    Emphasize that revision comes before editing!

    RE-VISION= seeing something again with fresh eyes.

    In other words, to revise something means to change the content. To edit something means to correct spelling and grammar mistakes. The latter is also important, but it is more important to work with the content of the poems first

    So, what makes poetry good? Cutting down to the "bare necessities." In poetry, not everything has to be said or explained; sometimes, less is more!

    Have a short sample text to revise together to help students brainstorm things to look out for while revising. A good place to start, for example, is the favorite place (or food) sentence from the very first week. Write it on the board, and have students help revise it by adding content, taking out unnecessary words or punctuation, and adding line breaks.



    big pause= full stop

    beginning= capital letter

    slight pause= comma

    pause= new line

    dialogue= quotation marks

    excitement/surprise= exclamation mark


    Students will do similar work with the poem of their choosing. Alternatively, they can spend the class period writing a new poem that will be revised next time.


    Revision, Part 2

    For the second part of this week, we will continue revising and editing, and we will also start to practice reading our poems aloud.

    Review revision vs. editing, and other helpful tips before starting!



    • think small (cut out unnecessary words)

    • use repetition!

    • highlight your favorite line and work your poem around it

    • play with punctuation

    • add similes and metaphors

    • consider the shape of your poem!

    • answer this question: what is the message of your poem?

    Students then split off into pairs and help workshop each other's poems.

    Practice reading aloud, first to partners. Second, the teacher can listen and record the students. When students hear themselves speak, they will likely be able to recognize things they need to work on.

    This should take up the entire period.


    Closing activity: what is poetry?

    With your students, complete the following sentence, either verbally, on the board, or on a sheet of poster paper:

    "Poetry is..."


    Poetry is... freedom

    Poetry is... expression

    Poetry is... always changing

    Poetry is...


    Final Performance

    The last part of this five-week workshop series is to have students perform their final works in front of the entire class, or a small audience. This will hopefully give them a feeling of accomplishment, and will leave them with something to show for the last five weeks of hard work!

    See here for LMV's grade 6's final performance after 5 weeks of poetry workshops with Srijanalaya!


    Final note:

    Do not hesitate to contact us with any feedback, comments, or questions! If you used any aspect of these lesson plans, we would love to know how it worked out in your classroom.