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Photo by Kelly Sikkema via Unsplash

Database Provider

Topic

Poetry Writing

Grades

6th, 7th, 8th

Subject

English Language Arts

Duration

60 minutes

Regional Focus

North America, United States, USA - West, California

Format

Google Docs, Google Slides

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This lesson plan is licensed under Creative Commons.

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Write Your Own Ekphrastic Poem

Created By Teacher:
Last Updated:
May 15, 2024
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Synopsis

This lesson features powerful imagery from the climate crisis, inspired by the California wildfires. Students choose one photograph and write an ekphrastic poem about that photograph. 


Step 1 - Inquire: Teacher facilitates a brief discussion using a photograph of the California wildfires in 2020.


Step 2 - Investigate: Students review photographs related to the climate crisis from Climate Visuals Gallery. Students select one photograph and write an ekphrastic poem about that photograph.


Step 3 - Inspire: Students share their poems with the rest of the class.

Accompanying Teaching Materials
Teaching Tips

Positives

  • This lesson features stunning images of the impacts of the climate crisis as well as climate solutions.

  • There is a sense of mystery because students will write their poems before knowing the context of their chosen photograph.

Additional Prerequisites

  • Before teaching the lesson, type your students' names into Slide 19 of the Student Slideshow.
  • Make sure that all students have viewing access to the Student Slideshow and editing access to the Student Poetry Anthology Slideshow.
  • Students may feel anger, anxiety, sadness, despair, fear, hope, or even excitement when viewing these pictures, writing their poems, or hearing their classmates’ poems. These emotions are normal and natural. Make sure students know it is OK to feel and express these emotions when confronted with the realities of the climate crisis.
  • The information available for each image is varied. There is a lot of information about some of the photographs, but others do not have that much information.

Differentiation

  • Be sensitive to the emotions of your students. Some of these photographs may remind them of personal loss or some other specific connection to the climate crisis.

  • Students can use the "Ideas For Your Poem" on the slideshow if they have trouble starting.
  • Some students may know of other climate-related photos that they'd like to use. Encourage students to use those photographs if they make sense in the context of the lesson.
Scientist Notes

This lesson introduces students to social-emotional learning and how to use ekphrastic poetry to write about an artwork. It also contains photography depicting impacts of pollution, environmental degradation, and the climate crisis for students to analyze, share their thoughts, and communicate their climate solutions. This lesson has satisfied the science review process, and it is recommended for teaching.

Standards

Primary Standards

  • Common Core English Language Arts Standards (CCSS.ELA)
    • Reading: Literature (K-12)
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.7.5 Analyze how a drama's or poem's form or structure (e.g., soliloquy, sonnet) contributes to its meaning
    • Writing (K-12)
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.6.3 Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, relevant descriptive details, and well-structured event sequences.
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.6.4 Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.7.3 Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, relevant descriptive details, and well-structured event sequences.
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.7.4 Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.8.3 Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, relevant descriptive details, and well-structured event sequences.
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.8.4 Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.

Supporting Standards

  • Common Core English Language Arts Standards (CCSS.ELA)
    • Language (K-12)
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.L.6.5 Demonstrate understanding of figurative language, word relationships, and nuances in word meanings.
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.L.7.5 Demonstrate understanding of figurative language, word relationships, and nuances in word meanings.
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.L.8.5 Demonstrate understanding of figurative language, word relationships, and nuances in word meanings.
    • Reading: Literature (K-12)
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.6.10 By the end of the year, read and comprehend literature, including stories, dramas, and poems, in the grades 6-8 text complexity band proficiently, with scaffolding as needed at the high end of the range.
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.7.4 Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative and connotative meanings; analyze the impact of rhymes and other repetitions of sounds (e.g., alliteration) on a specific verse or stanza of a poem or section of a story or drama.
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.7.10 By the end of the year, read and comprehend literature, including stories, dramas, and poems, in the grades 6-8 text complexity band proficiently, with scaffolding as needed at the high end of the range.
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.8.10 By the end of the year, read and comprehend literature, including stories, dramas, and poems, at the high end of grades 6-8 text complexity band independently and proficiently.
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