Home | Writing Grade by Grade | Reading | Workshop Help Desk | Principal's Guide | Buy it Now! 
7. Poetry: Powerful Thoughts in Tiny Packages
by Lucy Calkins and Stephanie Parsons

Children write collections of poems in this unit, learning to go beyond the rhyming ditties that come to mind first to find precise images that represent big ideas. They learn to use line breaks to express the meaning and rhythm they intend, and to use visualization and figures of speech to make their writing more clear and powerful.

  • PART ONE:
  • Creating the Poetry Museum
  • PART TWO:
  • Putting Powerful Thoughts in Tiny Packages
  • PART THREE:
  • Focusing on Language and Sound
  • PART FOUR:
  • Bringing Together Language and Meaning
  • PART FIVE:
  • We're in Charge of Celebrations
    PART ONE: Creating the Poetry Museum
    Session I: Seeing with Poets' Eyes
    In this session, you'll invite youngsters to spend a few days writing about objects. You'll help children see the concrete details of their lives in fresh ways.
    View Session I
    Session II: Listening for Line Breaks
    In this session, students will learn how to change their observational notes into poems by experimenting with format.
    Session III: Hearing the Music in Poetry
    In this session, you'll say, "Reread your poems, making your voice support the meaning in them."
    Back to Top
    PART TWO: Putting Powerful Thoughts in Tiny Packages
    Session IV: Putting Powerful Thoughts in Tiny Packages
    In this session, you'll remind your writers of the importance of topic choice and of writing about subjects that matter to them very much.
    Session V: Finding Ingredients for a Poem
    This minilesson will help children sort through their observations, finding one or two that deserve to be made into poems.
    Session VI: Showing, Not Telling
    In this session, your lesson will be that poets, like writers of stories, often convey strong feelings by creating images.
    Back to Top
    PART THREE: Focusing on Language and Sound
    Session VII: Hearing the Voices of Poetry
    In this session, you'll teach children that poets invigorate their poems with poetic language and voice.
    Session VIII: Searching for Honest, Precise Words
    In this session, you'll encourage children to reach for the word that exactly matches what they are trying to say.
    Session IX: Patterning on the Page
    In this session, you'll introduce repetition and other structures in poems, explaining that poets use patterns to support their meaning.
    Back to Top
    PART FOUR: Bringing Together Language and Meaning
    Session X: Using Comparisons to Convey Feelings
    In this session, you'll let children know that another way to express big feelings is to say the feelings are like something else.

    Session XI: Contrasting Ordinary and Poetic Language
    In this session, your point will be that poets use comparisons and artful language to convey a sound, an image, an observation, an idea—almost anything!
    Session XII: Stretching Out a Comparison (Sustaining a Metaphor)
    In this minilesson, you'll teach children that poets stay with, develop, their comparisons.
    Back to Top
    PART FIVE: We're in Charge of Celebrations
    Session XIII: Finding Treasures in Discarded Drafts
    In this session, you'll suggest that sometimes in the midst of a not very special poem, a poet will find a bit that deserves to be kept and made into a new poem.
    Session XIV: Contrasting Poems with Stories
    In this session, you will teach children how to turn story-like drafts into poems.
    Session XV: Revising and Editing Poetry
    In this session, you'll teach children how to reread with pen in hand, carefully checking each word and then doing everything possible to fix words that require more attention.
    Session XVI: Presenting Poems to the World: An Author's Celebration
    In this celebration, you'll help children make their poems public by posting them in the community and reading them to various audiences.
    Back To Top
    Learn More . . . Additional Resources
    Copyrightę 2014 Heinemann. A division of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All Rights Reserved.