Unit 1: A Classroom for Everyone
How can we make a classroom that everyone wants to come to? What conditions do there need to be for a classroom to be successful for everyone? What individual talents, passions, and cultures do each of us bring to our community?
How can we make a classroom that everyone wants to come to? During the first three weeks of school we will puzzle through this question and build a community together by completing a mad-mix of in-class activities, including: writing poetry about family and community, sharing our writing through ‘read arounds,’ a scavenger hunt, and painting a class mural that will display each student’s poem. By the end of this unit, we will toast to the beginning of a new year with a class celebration and artwork that’ll honor the collective talents, interests, and passions through our class mural.
Creating a Mural of Poems
As we start this project, you might be thinking to yourself, “A poetry mural… You expect me to do what, exactly?!” So glad you asked! Here is a brief outline of how we’ll take small steps toward accomplishing our high goal:
- We will start by reading powerful poems by writers with diverse perspectives about what it means to belong to a community.
- Taking a cue from the poets we read, each student will write poems about themselves and their community. Each of these poems will provide students with a chance to experiment with different poetic styles and techniques. It will also provide the opportunity for writers to receive early feedback and tips for polishing their writing skills.
- Students will receive feedback and grades for completing exit tickets in class that will utilize poetic techniques in class (for more information, scroll down to “Online Resources” and click on the “guided notes” skills work). This will be worth 10% of students final grades.
- They will also receive initial grades their poem, which will be due on a Friday (September 15th).
- The purpose of the initial grades is to provide clear and specific feedback for students on how to improve and strengthen their writing.
- The final grade will be based off of each student’s best work, which will be turned in Friday, September the 22nd. This will 80% of students final grade for this unit.
- The final 10% of students grade will be based off of the final project work on their poetry tile, including accurate spelling, legible and clear writing, and presentation.
- Students will choose colors and paint their tiles.
- We will learn how to use Google Classroom to upload documents and share work.
- Using the positive and structured feedback they’ve received in class, students will revise their drafts.
- Each student will print their final draft on a class template, cut it out, and then copy it onto their tile by using graphite paper.
- On the reverse side of their tile (bonus step), students can add images, painting, or photos.
- We will have a final class ‘read around,’ place our tiles together to form our poetry mural, and have a class party!
Online Resources for Unit 1
- Welcome Back Letter
- Syllabus and Class Calendar
- Student Reading Packet
- PowerPoint Slides for Week 1
- PowerPoint Slides for Week 2
- PowerPoint Slides for Week 3
- Final Poem Revisions Checklist
- Guided Notes: Metaphors and Similes
- Guided Notes: Sensory Writing
- PowerPoint Slide for Week 4
- Tutorial for Tile-Printing with MS Word
- Final Poem (Portfolio Verion) Template