Write It The Publishing Site for High School Writers
Write It Home
Teacher Center Home

Teacher Center: Poetry

Lesson Plan Title: "Major Moments"

Grade Level: 9 - 12

Duration: 50 minutes

Description: During this lesson, students will create images from one major moment in their lives and create a poem from those images.

Student Objectives: Students will create original, unique images and mold a poem around those images.

List Materials:

  1. "From Where My Mother Sat" by Meredith Weber, Scholastic Art & Writing Awards 2004
  2. Major Moment Brainstorm
  3. Powerful Images Brainstorm

Set Up and Prepare: Make enough copies of "From Where My Mother Sat," Major Moment Brainstorm, and Powerful Images Brainstorm for the entire class.


PART I: Mini-lesson on Imagery

Read "From Where My Mother Sat" by Meredith Weber. Ask students to turn over their poems so that they can't see them anymore. What do they remember from the poem? Many students will remember specific images like the suds draining down her back or the mother's gray hair. If there's complete silence, give them a minute to remember. There are powerful, unique images in the poem and someone will start the answers coming. Once a few students have mentioned specific images, talk about how the meaning behind the images. How did the images show the speaker's innocence and naïveté? How did the images reveal the mother's emotions? What role do the images play in "From Where My Mother Sat"?

PART II: Brainstorming

Pass out the "Major Moment" Brainstorm. This will help students come up with a subject for their discussing another person's perspective. Once they have an event to write about, get them started with the "Powerful Images" Brainstorm.

PART III: Writing

Before students start writing, do a quick check of their images. Ask them questions to encourage them to make the images detailed and vivid. You can assign the first draft of the poem for homework or give them class time.

Assess Students: Let students know that the focus of this assignment is imagery. Are the images unique? Do they include sensory detail? Do they add to the tone or meaning of the poem?

Lesson Extension: Have students do peer evaluations and conferences on the poems before typing up a final draft. You could also have them bring in a photograph of themselves from the age that they wrote about for a cool classroom display of poetry and pictures. It would also be nice for students to read their poems to the class.

Evaluate Lesson: Are there clear, vivid, unique images in the poems? Do the images enhance the tone and meaning of the poetry?

Assignments: Students write a draft poem, review, revise and make a classroom display of childhood photographs and poems.