As you all heard, I did my genre paper on a “how-to” for teachers on how to create their own “Poetry Cafe” unit in their own classrooms. I’d describe my project as a little more than a brochure, but less than an official handbook. My goal was to give teachers and idea of how to construct their own poetry unit but leave room for their own individual interpretations. So…
My brochure/handbook consisted of 5 solid pages of information
1 – Setting the Scene. For this page I gave helpful hints on how to create a poetry rich atmosphere in the classroom; including dimmed lights, soft music, and an opportunity for students to bring in tea while they write (obvious components of writing poetry, right).
2 – Brainstorming Activities & Writing Prompts. I included ideas that I created like”Pick-A-Pen” prompts – students experiencing writer’s block can pick a pen from the jar that has writing prompts wrapped on the inside of the (clear) pen barrel. Then they use that pen to write about that topic.
3 – In-class Poems & Activities. On this page I gave examples of easy starter poems to work through in class to get students in the groove of writing their own poetry. Starting a poetry unit could be intimidating, so I wanted to show teachers how easy poetry is to include in their own classrooms. Now they don’t even have to search for poems to do in their classes.
4 – Ways for Students to Record their Writing & Themes for in-class writing. Students should be proud of their work and excited to record their poems. So I emphasized why it is key to let students personalize a journal, binder, or create a “book” of their poems in which to write in for the duration of the unit.
5 – The Final Day – Poetry Cafe. Here I explained the importance of having a class period (or a separate event entirely) devoted to a poetry reading and how it will help students publicize and be proud of their poetry.
This info is solely off the top of my head, I already turned in my copy to Garcia, so I hope it was concise and easy to follow!