Channeling emotions preparation for poem writing
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Channeling Emotions: Preparation for Poem Writing. North Star of Texas Writing Project June 14, 2004 Kristi Gibson Literary Quotes. “Good poetry is “the spontaneous overflow of feelings” - William Wordsworth

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Channeling Emotions: Preparation for Poem Writing

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Channeling Emotions: Preparation for Poem Writing

North Star of Texas Writing Project

June 14, 2004

Kristi Gibson

Literary Quotes

“Good poetry is “the spontaneous overflow of feelings”

- William Wordsworth

“”What poetry does at its very best is to make the reader feel. Feel deeply and truly”

- Jane Yolen (Fletcher, P. 12)

Relate emotions to everyday experiences.

“we make connections between our community and the community described in literary texts.”

(Van Horn, 31)

Theory Base

Theory Base

Building teacher-student relationships.

“Knowing our students well, caring about them, and valuing them is as important as knowing the subject matter we teach.” (Routman, 538)

Theory Base

Community Building

“Teachers deliberately work with students to set up the classroom as a community – both physically and emotionally – so that students may have

Freedom to choose

Open-ended exploration

Freedom from judgment

Honoring every student’s experience

Believe in every student’s genius.

(Routman, 536-7)

Theory Base

Read Aloud Suggestions

  • “When Sophie Gets Angry. Really, Really Angry”by Molly Bang

  • “Today I Feel Silly and Other Moods That Make My Day”by Jamie Lee Curtis

  • “The Rag Coat”by Lauren Mills

  • “Our Gracie Aunt”by Jacqueline Woodson

  • “Feelings”by Aliki

Students brainstorm different emotions and choose one

Description of specific situation

Emotion Prompts

  • Positive and negative effects of emotion

  • Personify emotion

  • Simile (X is like Y)

  • Observation of emotion in others

  • Metaphor (X is Y)

  • Bring in music or art or present a skit

Examining Poetry About Emotions

  • “Any Morning” by William Stafford

  • “Eating Together” by Li-Young Lee

  • “I Ask My Mother to Sing” by Li-Young Lee

  • “Emergency Situation” by Hal Sirowitz

  • “I Am”

  • “An Empty World” by Stacey

Writing Poem

  • Focus on a specific situation.

  • Example: “Lying on the couch in the morning” (Stafford)

  • Or, contrast two specific situations.

  • Example: Visiting a place as a child then revisiting the same place as an adult

  • 2.Create images in the reader’s mind to help them picture what is going on.

  • Example: “Just lying on the couch and being happy. / Only humming a little” (Stafford)

3. Use original language such as similes and metaphors.

Example: “Little corners like this, pieces of Heaven / left lying around.” (Stafford)

4. Choose words for their impact, connotation, and sound. Use harsh sounding words for negative impact.

Example: “trouble”, “judge”, “monitor”, “act busy”, “hide”, “frown”(Stafford)

5. A strong image can be repeated effectively, sometimes to end the poem.

Example: “I Am “


  • Calkins, Lucy McCormick (2001). New York: Longman.

  • Routman, Regie (2000). Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.

  • Van Horn, Leigh (2001). Creating Literacy Communities in Middle School. Norwood, MA: Christopher-Gordon.

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