Poetry Meter Graphic Organizer

21 Jun

I am all about creativity and trying new things and looking for new ways to engage students. Graphic organizers are pretty awesome. Graphic organizers are visual representations of knowledge, concepts, or ideas.

They are also proven to engage students and thus decrease student boredom (we despise boredom, boredom is dead!) and increase understanding, motivation, and interest. Hooray for graphic organizers!

Of course they also take many forms. Some are simply printed on paper and students fill in the spaces. Examples are concept maps, KWL (what do you KNOW, what do you WANT to learn, what did you LEARN?), story map, cluster. The list goes on and on! Visit Enchanted Learning’s page on graphic organizers – they do a pretty good job of explaining how you can use different ones.

What I’ve recently discovered is that there are graphic organizers you can fold and cut and do all kinds of super neat things with. I am currently a graphic organizer nerd. Check out @ATeachTreasure‘s page on graphic organizers. Are those cool or what? They are awesome. And complicated. I’m going to sit down over the weekend and see if I can make some of them and figure out what lessons I can put them with.

Okay, so let’s get back to the graphic organizer for Poetry Meters. I used this one for teaching the vocabulary of the meters: Iamb, Anapest, Spondee, etc.

Graphic Organizer Front

Each term has its own square and is cut so that the flaps will open individually. This is essentially a glorified flashcard set. I used legal size paper so that the flaps would be large enough for definitions AND examples.

1. Fold the paper in half hamburger-way.
2. Open paper up and line each side to about 1/2 inch from center fold (this creates space for the GO title “Poetry Metrical Units Vocab.”
3. Cut “up the mountain” on both sides to make three flaps. You can use this so the flaps open up and down OR left and right.
4. Write the vocab on the outer flap.
5. This part is really important: I told the students to decorate it any way they wanted. I separated mine with boxes and dash-lines so I could easily distinguish the words from each other.
6. Open the flaps and write the definition on the space directly behind the word; then write examples and hints on the inside page (see photo below).

Graphic Organizer Inside

Of course this GO is entirely customizable to your needs and preferences…this is just a documentation of how I did this particular one.

Teaching strategies with this GO:
I reviewed the previous lesson and then started discussing meter. I passed out pre-cut graphic organizers because I didn’t want the prep-work to take up my lesson time. I started with “metrical unit” and told them to put it on the last square. Then we wrote the definition inside. I had a blank GO for myself and put it on the doc cam to model for the students as we went through the vocab. Then we discussed each unit in detail and completed the GO as we went through each term. I asked students to either copy down a few words and show the stressed/unstressed symbols or to copy the line given and scan it. I did this because the definition alone is not enough. I need to make sure the students are able to make connections between the definition and the application. When we were finished with the GO and the vocab, we turned to “Bonny Barbara Allen” and I played a recording of the ballad (only the first stanza). First we just listened. Then we listened and scanned the stanza. Students broke up into groups and shared their scans and were asked to come to a consensus on that stanza’s meter. At the end of their discussion, each group explained their consensus to the class – the class then was asked to agree as a whole on the meter.

So – is it clear yet that I am gaga for graphic organizers? Can’t wait to share some of my attempts on @ATeachTreasure’s graphic organizers soon!

Share with us your experiences with or your desires to use graphic organizers!


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