Examining a Model Two-Voice Poem and Planning a Two-Voice Poem | EL Education Curriculum

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ELA 2012 G7:M1:U3:L3

Examining a Model Two-Voice Poem and Planning a Two-Voice Poem

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Long Term Learning Targets

  • I can analyze how an author develops and contrasts the points of view of characters and narrators in a literary text. (RL 7.6)
  • I can cite several pieces of text-based evidence to support an analysis of informational text. (RI 7.1)
  • I can write narrative texts about real or imagined experiences using relevant details and event sequences that make sense. (W 7.3)

Supporting Targets

  • I can cite text-based evidence to support the comparison and contrasting of Salva and Nya in my two-voice poem.
  • I can analyze a model two-voice poem using a rubric.
  • I can plan my two-voice poem.  

Ongoing Assessment

  • Exit Ticket


AgendaTeaching Notes

1. Opening 

A. Review Model Poem and Learning Targets (10 minutes)

2. Work Time  

A. Citations in the Two-Voice Poem (5 minutes) 

B. Analyzing the Model Poem (15 minutes) 

C. Planning the Two-Voice Poem (10 minutes)

3.  Closing and Assessment

A. Exit Ticket: Citing Your Sources (5 minutes)

4.  Homework

A. Finish poem planner and Works Cited list.

  • This lesson builds on learning that students began in Unit 2, Lesson 17, when they started planning their research-based two-voice poem.  
  • In this lesson, students use the Gathering Evidence graphic organizer that they started in Unit 2, Lesson 17.
  • In Unit 2, Lesson 17, students read this same model poem, "I Would Do Anything." In this lesson, they read the poem focusing on how the author of the poem used evidence.
  • For a teacher's version of the Gathering Evidence graphic organizer, please see supporting materials of Unit 2, Lesson 17. 
  • The rubric for the two-voice poem is based on the New York State Expository Writing Rubric. The use of an expository rubric for this piece of narrative writing is intentional, since students will be applying many of the same writing skills to this poem, most importantly using evidence to develop their central idea and juxtaposition of Salva and Nya.  


cite, sources, plagiarism, parenthetical citation


  • Entry task (one per student)
  • Model Two-voice Poem: "I Would Do Anything" (one per student; from Unit 2, Lesson 17)
  • Works Cited page (one per student)
  • Document camera
  • Two-voice poem rubric (one per student)
  • Two-voice Poem Planner: Model Poem "I Would Do Anything" (one per student)
  • Two-voice Poem Planner (one per student) 
  • Exit ticket (one per student)


OpeningMeeting Students' Needs

A. Review Model Poem and Learning Targets (10 minutes) 

  • As students enter, give them the entry task. 

* What do you think the word cite means? 

* Reread the model two-voice poem and put a star by any evidence that is cited. 

  • Give students about 5 minutes to complete it individually.  
  • Invite students to share their thinking with their seat partner.
  • Cold call one or two pairs to define the word cite. Listen for: "To cite is to show where your information came from." If students don't come to a correct definition, provide it for them.
  • Encourage them to turn to their partner and think of other words with "cite" in them. Call on students to share words. Listen for words such as "citation," "recital," "recite," "excite."
  • Tell students that all those words have the same root: cit, which in Latin means "to call or summon."  
  • Review the learning targets for today:

* "I can cite text-based evidence to support the comparison and contrasting of Salva and Nya in my two-voice  poem."

* "I can analyze a model two-voice poem using a rubric."

* "I can plan my two-voice poem."  

  • Point out that cite is the verb in the first learning target and that students will be citing sources in their own two-voice poem. 
  • Ask students to raise their hand if they remember another time that they used a rubric to analyze writing. Call on one or two and listen for them to say: "We analyzed a model essay with the rubric." Tell students that today they'll be analyzing their two-voice poem with the rubric, but that they will see many similarities with the essay rubric. This is because the poem rubric is based on the New York Expository Writing rubric.  
  • Reviewing academic vocabulary words benefits all students developing academic language.  
  • Careful attention to learning targets throughout a lesson engages, supports, and holds students accountable for their learning. Consider revisiting learning targets throughout the lesson so that students can connect their learning with the activity they are working on.

Work Time

Work TimeMeeting Students' Needs

A. Citations in the Two-Voice Poem (5 minutes)

  • Ask students to look at their Model Two-Voice Poem: "I Would Do Anything" (from Unit 2, Lesson 17) again. Point out the "Works Cited" list after the end of the poem. Ask: 

* "What do you think the Works Cited list is?" Invite students to Think-Pair-Share.  

  • Cold call one or two pairs to share their thinking. Listen for a student to say: "a list of the sources or texts used in the poem."  
  • Explain that it is important to include your sources in a "Works Cited" list because you need to give credit to other people's ideas. If you don't, that is plagiarism. Plagiarism is using someone else's idea without giving them credit. It is easy to avoid by doing two things:

Include your sources in a "Works Cited" list.

After quotes from a source, you need to give some information in parentheses about the source.

  • Remind students that in Unit 2, Lesson 17, they considered what it means to write a research-based two-voice poem, including how it allows them to synthesize the literary and informational texts they read and juxtapose Salva and Nya. Tell them that they will analyze the model two-voice poem today and will discover how a poem can use information from sources effectively. Since they will be including quotes from other sources, it will be important to cite them in their research-based poem. 
  • Remind students that, in their essays, they included the page number in A Long Walk to Water where their quotes came from. They will continue to do that in their poem. Since they will also include quotes from informational sources, they will need to put the title in parentheses. Instruct students to look at the model poem and notice that the titles are in quotation marks. Emphasize that it is important for students to use quotation marks around the title of an article.  
  • Tell students that for their poem, they will not create a Works Cited list. Instead, provide them with the Works Cited page.  
  • If you collected students' Two-Voice Poem: Gathering Evidence graphic organizers at the end of Unit 3, Lesson 2, return them now. Otherwise, ask students to get them out and put a star next to any sources on the Works Cited page that they gathered evidence from.  
  • Tell students that when they hand in their final two-voice poem, they will need to hand in a Works Cited page with their sources starred. 

B. Analyzing the Model Poem (15 minutes) 

  • Tell students that today they will become familiar with the rubric for the two-voice poem by using it to analyze the model poem.  
  • Distribute the two-voice poem rubric and invite students to look at the text in italics and the text in bold. Ask: 

* "What do you notice about this rubric?"  

  • Call on one or two students to share their thinking. Listen for: "The words in italics look similar to the essay rubric" or "The words in bold mention Salva and Nya." Explain to students that this rubric is based on the same rubric as the essay. That is because they need to use many of the same skills to write this research-based poem, even though it is a different type of writing. However, there are criteria on the rubric that are specific to the two-voice poem; they will focus on those criteria today. 
  • Show the two-voice poem rubric using the document camera. Tell students that you are going to demonstrate how to analyze the model poem using the rubric and that you will focus on the organization of the poem. 
  • Direct students to look at the "3" column on the rubric and read aloud the criteria for organization:

* "exhibit clear organization, with the use of appropriate transitions to create a unified whole"

  • The poem has a beginning, middle, and end that connect to each other to create a unified poem.  
  • Point out that the beginning of the poem sets the scene by saying, "Life challenges us ... here in Sudan." 
  • The middle of the poem shows the common experiences of Nya's uncle and Uncle Jewiir, such as: "My people were forced to leave our village ..." and "For my family, I would do anything." Mention that the common experiences serve as transitions from one idea to the next and that the author used both voices to do that.   
  • Finally, read the last line for both voices: "Tomorrow will be better than today ..." and tell students that this ends the poem in a way that addresses the focus of the poem: Leaders help people to make a change.  Be sure students see that that is the goal that both leaders had throughout the poem.
  • Turn students' attention back to the rubric and point out that the model poem earns a 3 on the rubric for organization because it has a beginning, middle, and end that connect to each other and create a unified poem.  
  • Instruct students to work with their seat partner to analyze the poem using the rest of the rubric. Point out that you modeled how to analyze the poem with the rubric using only part of the row titled "Cohesion, Organization, and Style," so students should be sure to look at the rest of that row as well.  
  • While the class is working, circulate around the room and make sure students are referring to the poem and the rubric. If you hear students say the poem is "good" or "bad," encourage them to justify their answers.  
  • After 5 minutes, debrief the groups' discussions. Ask students to show how they graded the poem on the first row by holding the corresponding number of fingers in the air (0-4). Cold call one or two students to explain their thinking. Listen for: "I gave it a 4 because the evidence from the text helped develop the theme of the poem." Repeat this process for each row. Listen for students to say things like:

* "The main idea of the poem is developed with concrete evidence like 4 million people being forced to flee their homes, so our group gave it a 4 for Command of Evidence."

* "The author used punctuation correctly, so we think it earned a 4 for Control of Conventions."

  • Tell students that now that they have an understanding of the expectations for the two-voice poem, it is time to start planning their own poems.  
  • For students who need more support, consider giving them the model poem and rubric ahead of time so they can read before the World Cafe protocol.  
  • Analyzing a rubric for an assignment by using a model of the work offers all students a better opportunity to understand what they are expected to do to complete an assignment successfully.

C. Planning the Two-Voice Poem (10 minutes)

  • Using the document camera, project the Two-voice poem planner: Model Poem "I Would Do Anything".  Explain to students that, like they did with the essay, they are going to plan their poem using a planning document. Point to the model poem in two-voice poem planner and tell students that they will need to decide how to organize their ideas using the planner and use evidence from their Gathering Evidence graphic organizer in their poem. On the model poem, point to where it says: "Every year when the rains stopped and the pond near the village dried up ..."(26) as an example of using evidence.  
  • Emphasize that students should use only one box per row of the planner to have clear organization in their poem.  
  • Distribute the Two-Voice Poem planner and instruct students to start planning their poems independently. 
  • While the class is working, circulate around the room and check in with students to make sure they are using the planners correctly and are pulling evidence from their graphic organizers.  
  • There are two versions of the two-voice poem planner: one with more scaffolding and one with less. Consider providing the more scaffolded planner to students who need support.

Closing & Assessments

ClosingMeeting Students' Needs

A. Exit Ticket: Citing Your Sources (5 minutes) 

  • Distribute the exit ticket and ask students to respond in writing:

* "What does it mean to cite your sources?"

* "Why is it important to cite your sources?"

* "What two things do you need to do to cite your sources correctly?"

  • Once students are done, collect the exit tickets.  
  • Using entrance/exit tickets allows you to quickly check for understanding of the learning target so that instruction can be adjusted or tailored to students' needs during the lesson or before the next lesson. 


  • Finish poem planner and Works Cited list.

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