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Poetry . Grade 6. Poetry is like…. What is it like? Write down some things from your mind…. Share with others…. Add new ideas… What is poetry like?.

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Grade 6

poetry is like
Poetry is like….
  • What is it like? Write down some things from your mind….
  • Share with others….
  • Add new ideas…
  • What is poetry like?

It is the beauty of poetry to let the reader bring a little bit of him/herself into the poem. To understand poetry is to bring this self into the poem and use it to determine the meaning.

  • The meaning of a poem is open to interpretation.

What do these phrases mean? Discuss!!!


Introduction To Poetry

I ask them to take a poem
and hold it up to the light 
like a color slide

or press an ear against its hive.

I say drop a mouse into a poem
and watch him probe his way out,

or walk inside the poem's room
and feel the walls for a light switch.

I want them to waterski
across the surface of a poem
waving at the author's name on the shore.

But all they want to do
is tie the poem to a chair with rope
and torture a confession out of it.

They begin beating it with a hose
to find out what it really means.

--Billy Collins


What words and images stand out for you?

  • What is their emotional reaction to the poem (e.g., surprise, dismay, anger)?
  • Take note of any figurative language (e.g., simile, metaphor, hyperbole) you encounter.
  • What do you think Collins is saying about the study of poetry? What criticisms does he make of teaching poetry?
  • According to Collins, what is the real goal of reading poetry?
write your own
Write your own!
  • Write your own ‘Introduction to Poetry’.
  • What are your feelings about reading poetry—is it a good experience for you? Or is it something you dislike?
  • Write a short poem that highlights this experience in your poetry book.
where i m from by george ella lyon
Where I’m From… By George Ella Lyon
  • George Ella Lyon was born and raised in Harlan County, Kentucky, the daughter of a dry-cleaner and a community worker. She grew up with one older brother in a house full of music, stories, and books.
  • Her first ambition was to be a neon sign maker. Much later, she planned to be a folk singer in Greenwich Village. Finally she realized it was the music in the words she was after, and she has been after it ever since.


  • What is the main message of this poem?
  • What do you think is the setting of this poem?
  • What imagery is created to present the setting?
  • What is the tone/mood of this poem?
  • How does the choice of words help to develop the tone?

Use the handout to create your own poem!

what is a passion
What is a passion?
  • In your groups brainstorm what the word ‘passion’ means. Create a definition of this word. You may use a dictionary to help you, BUT you MUST define it yourself.
  • Create a possible list of different passions a person might have.
  • As a group you will share your results.
passion poster
Passion Poster


  • Once your have finished your “Where I’m From Poem,” write a well supported one paragraph description of your passion, you may begin putting your passion poster together.
  • When you are done with your passion poster, you will share it with the whole class, so please make sure you are ready to share.


  • Finished product should be on poster board.
  • Your poster must have your where I’m from poem, your name, at least one picture representing an object of passion, and your passion paragraph.
  • You may include any of the items listed below

*picture you drew

*artifacts stapled, glued, or taped on

*favorite picture of yourself

*favorite line from “Where I’m From” poem in a Wordle


Fire and Ice

Some say the world will end in fire,
Some say in ice.

From what I've tasted of desire
I hold with those who favor fire.

But if it had to perish twice,
I think I know enough of hate
To say that for destruction ice
Is also great
And would suffice.

--Robert Frost

fire and ice
Fire and Ice


The poem revolves around the two symbols of fire and ice. In the first two lines, we don't yet know that they are symbols. Judging by these lines alone, this could be a poem about theories of modern science. But when the speaker associates fire with desire and ice with hate, we know that fire and ice are symbols for human behaviors and emotions. But the poem does not close down possibilities for your imagination to run wild by telling us exactly what these two basic forces represent. You should feel free to relate them to your own thoughts and experiences and come up with an interpretation.

the speaker
The Speaker
  • In this poem, the two sides of the scale are those who think the world will end in fire and those who think it will end it ice. The speaker believes he has acquired enough wisdom and worldly experience to "weigh in" (yes, that's where the expression comes from) on the dispute. He has experienced enough desire to know that its effects can be as destructive as they are pleasurable. But he has also known hate, either as a victim of it or, more likely, as someone who has felt hatred.
setting title
  • "Fire and Ice" begins with two images of the end of the world. In the first, the world is a great bubbling mess of fire, lava, and explosions. Cities are melting and trees are burning. In the second vision, the world is an ice-cubeor ice-sphere. A great cloud looms above the earth, and temperatures are so low that life cannot survive.
  • The title is a straightforward clue to what the poem is about. But, when you think about it, "Fire or Ice" might have been a more obvious title, considering that the poem describes an argument over which of these forces will destroy the world. The title raises the possibility that fire and ice can coexist at the same time, maybe even in the same person.

A Dream Deferred

What happens to a dream deferred?

Does it dry up

like a raisin in the sun?

Or fester like a sore--

And then run?

Does it stink like rotten meat?

Or crust and sugar over--

like a syrupy sweet?

Maybe it just sags

like a heavy load.

Or does it explode?

Langston Hughes (1902-1967)

poet exploration
Poet Exploration
  • Choose one of the poets we have studied and
poetry anthologies
Poetry Anthologies
  • Choose poems that you like—a minimum of 10 to maximum of 15.
  • It is an anthology—we have some in the room and in the library. This is a book of poetry which sometimes contain descriptions about the poets and give meaning
  • For each complete the following:
      • Include the poem
      • A description of the poet and maybe why they wrote the poem
      • What the poem means (1/2 page)
      • What it means to you and why you chose it. (1/2 page)