Arts ESU2
Performing Arts, English Language Arts, Mathematics
Material Type:
Upper Primary
  • Anaphora
  • Choreography
  • Dance
  • MTA
  • Movement
  • NE Art
  • Nebraska Department of Education
  • Theatre
  • dance
  • ne-art
  • theatre
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    Education Standards

    Poetry Lesson

    Poetry Lesson


    This resource was created by Kate Steffen, in collaboration with Lynn Bowder, as part of ESU2's Mastering the Arts project. This project is a four year initiative focused on integrating arts into the core curriculum through teacher education and experiential learning.

    Lesson Title: Poetry lesson

    Grade Level: 3-4th grades

    Core Subject Area: Language Arts/Math                              Fine Arts Subject Area: Dance

    Standards Alignment

    Language Arts Standard: LA 4.1.6.p Compare and contrast the text of a story, drama, or poem and a visual or oral presentation of the text.


    LA 4.2.2.a Communicate information and ideas effectively in analytic, descriptive, informative, narrative, poetic, persuasive, and reflective modes to multiple audiences using a variety of media and formats.


    LA 4.3.1.a Communicate ideas and information in a clear and concise manner suited to the purpose, setting, and audience (formal voice or informal voice), using appropriate word choice, grammar, and sentence structure.




    MA 4.3.1.a Recognize angles as geometric shapes that are formed where two rays share a common endpoint.


    MA 4.3.1.c Identify and draw points, lines, line segments, rays, angles, parallel lines, perpendicular lines, and intersecting lines, and recognize them in two-dimensional figures.

    Fine Arts Standard(s):

    Fine Arts Standard: FA 5.3.1 Students will use dance elements and choreographic principles to develop movements that communicate ideas, images, and feelings.


    FA 5.3.2 Students will develop movement skills in dance.


    FA 5.5.2.a Demonstrate expressive reading using vocal variety (e.g., read short passage aloud).


    FA 5.5.1.a Create, in a group, an environment (glossary) or event using body movement and sound (e.g., a forest, a baseball game) while working in a group.



    Core Subject Vocabulary:


    anaphora: repetition of a word or words at the beginning of successive phrases, clauses, or lines


    Imagery- visually descriptive or figurative language; visual symbolism


    Reflection: An image or shape as it would be seen in a mirror Point- An exact location. It has no size, only position.

    Equilateral triangle- a triangle with equal angles.

    Fine Arts Vocabulary:

    choreography- arrangement of dance moves

    Core Subject Learning Objectives:

    Students will be able to understand the connection between movement, written, and spoken language.


    Students will be able to fluently read a piece of poetry.

    Fine Arts Learning Objectives:

    Students will be able to create a piece of improvised movement using written and spoken language.



    Lesson -Teaching Sequence

    This lesson is intended for my 4th grade reading intervention group (3 students). The lesson will take at least a week to complete.


    Anticipatory setting: Show video from Youtube Dear You- Spoken Word by Jordan McKenzie Bailey. Ask students what part of the poem where her words matched her movements.


    Read The Swing by Robert Walter Stevenson to students. Describe what it means to show not tell and the importance of voice and pace when reading poems. Have students select a poem from the read poems. Describe what it means to show not tell and the importance of voice and pace when reading poems. Ask groups to brainstorm and create movements that describe what is happening in the poem.


    For a listening activity, (p. 199, Acting for Life), read poem over pausing for a moment after each stanza. Ask students if they catch what phrase Stevenson used more than once (up in the air). How old do you think the author of this poem is? (a young child) Who is


    the author speaking to- a young child, a sibling, an adult? (there is no wrong answer). How does the author feel about swinging? Ask the student how the swing made the author feel.


    For a visualization exercise (p. 198, Acting for Life), have students close their eyes, read each stanza of the poem one at a time, ask them to visualize what the line looks like in their mind. After each line, ask the students to describe what they saw. Ask them to be specific in answering.


    Students should start in a triangle formation. When students are in triangle formation, explain to them the angles that are shown. Each person must follow the movement of the person in the front corner of the diamond. As they read a line of the poem, they must move to the next point of the triangle so a new person is at the front. They will practice their performance before they perform. The students can choose if they recite the poem (can use notecards) or if they want the teacher or a peer to read the poem.


    Closure: Ask questions: How many angles did your figure have? Draw an example of a perpendicular lines.



    Assessment and Reflection

    Content Assessment:


    Fluency and pause in reading (verbal assessment)


    Ask students to pick an activity they enjoy now or one they enjoyed as a younger child. Write one stanza (four lines) of a poem to describe how they felt doing that activity. Include an anaphora in the poem.


    Ask the students to draw an equilateral triangle and name the points.


    Draw a reflection of a tree


    Pass/Fail grading

    Arts Assessment:


    Student will get a new short poem and will write choreography for 1 stanza of the poem.


    Student will recite poem using appropriate voice and inflection.


    Pass/Fail grading


    Student Reaction (Engagement):

    Teacher Reflection:


    The Swing


    How do you like to go up in a swing, Up in the air so blue?

    Oh, I do think it the pleasantest thing Ever a child can do!


    Up in the air and over the wall, Till I can see so wide,

    Rivers and trees and cattle and all Over the countryside—


    Till I look down on the garden green, Down on the roof so brown—

    Up in the air I go flying again, Up in the air and down!



    Jordan Bailey Music. (2021, March 1). Dear you. [Video]. Youtube.


    Frakes, J. (2005). Acting for life: a textbook on acting. Denver, Co. Meriweather Publishing. Stevenson, R. W. The swing.