This module uses literature and informational text to introduce students to what inspires people to write. It is intentionally designed to encourage students to embrace a love of literacy and writing. In Unit 1, students begin to build their close reading skills by reading the novel in verse Love That Dog by Sharon Creech and analyzing how the main character, Jack, feels in response to events that happen in the story. Alongside Love That Dog, students closely read and analyze the poems Jack reads and describes, including “The Red Wheelbarrow” by William Carlos Williams and “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening” by Robert Frost. They analyze the poems to determine a theme and to identify characteristics of poetry in order to effectively summarize the poems.
In the first half of Unit 2, students finish reading Love That Dog and plan and write an informative paragraph about what inspires Jack to write poetry. In the second half of the unit, they read A River of Words by Jen Bryant and learn about poet William Carlos Williams, again thinking about what inspired this poet to write. Then, in expert groups, students study a poet of their choice and write a four-paragraph essay about what inspired their poet to write poetry.
Finally, in Unit 3, students move from considering what has inspired the poets they have been reading about to write poetry, to thinking about what inspires them to write poetry. They begin the unit by writing original poems, focusing on word and phrase choice and adding punctuation for effect. In the second half of the unit, students write a presentation explaining why they wrote their original poem and where you can see evidence of this in their poem. In the second half of the unit, students also practice reading new poems aloud for fluency in preparation for reading their poems aloud for the performance task. For the performance task at the end of the unit, students participate in a poetry presentation in which they read aloud an original poem and then explain to the audience, with the use of visuals and evidence from the poem, why they were inspired to write their original poem. This task centers on CCSS ELA Standards SL.4.4 and SL.4.5.