As we were finishing out CSAP in the fourth grade, I was looking for an engaging project for writing time. So, we wrote poetry. We were reading poetry in every Storytown theme and learning about figurative language. Students were challenged to create a free verse poem about where they are from and also a diamante poem about a subject of their choosing. Students were given specific planners for both poems (there's a great interactive website about diamante poems here). They wrote from the planners and wrote a final draft which was glued to construction paper and displayed in the hall. Then they published their poetry on our class blog.
Once they were finished with their poetry, students created a self portrait using buildyourwildself.com. This website is great for so many levels of students and is very interactive. Students build the features of their wild selves, but as they progress they get to pick, not only human features, but also animal features. Students created some pretty interesting pictures! They emailed their creations to me, I cropped them using Jing, and put them with their poetry on the blog.
They did a pretty good job with this. Their free verse poems don't really read as poetry as much as a short autobiography. One student experimented with rhyming. They were challenged with adding figurative language to their peotry which they really struggled with. Buildyourwildself was a hit of course.
SIOP lesson plan