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Teacher Center: Poetry

Lesson Plan Title: New Voice

Grade Level: 9 - 12

Duration: 50 minutes

Description: During this lesson, you will introduce the idea of voice and authenticity of voice. Students will take on the voice of a different character and start to brainstorm a poem using their characters' voices.

Student Objectives: Students will create new voices and write poems using their characters' voices. Students will learn the value of authenticity of voice.

List Materials (PDF):

  1. "Authenticity of Voice" reproducible
  2. "Take on a New Voice" reproducible
  3. Student Example: "Savages" by John C. Mentzer
  4. Student Example: "Lilith" by Laura Catherine Killingsworth

Set Up and Prepare: Make enough copies of "Authenticity of Voice" and "Take on a New Voice" reproducibles for everyone in the class. Print copies of student poems to read to the class.


PART I: Mini-lesson on Authenticity of Voice

Pass out the "Authenticity of Voice" reproducibles and read and discuss them. Ask students to think about "Authenticity of Voice," while you read the student examples by John C. Mentzer and Laura Catherine Killingsworth. Discuss the authenticity of the voices created by these two poets.

PART II: Brainstorming

Pass out the "Take on a New Voice Sheets" and instruct students to open their journals to start brainstorming ideas about their character. What is their character thinking? What has their character been through in life? What is going on around the character at the moment?

Assess Students: As students are brainstorming and writing in their journals, ask them questions about their characters to get them to flesh out the characters. Emphasize the idea that these characters need to be realistic.

Lesson Extension: Have the students develop their brainstormed lists and ideas into draft poems.

Evaluate Lesson: Did the final poems show that students thought seriously about their characters? Did the final poems avoid stereotyping?

Assignments: Students write a draft poem, review, revise and hopefully even publish their poems.