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Home > Archive > For teachers > Writing & poetry (English) > Synthesizing Poems

Pre-writing Lesson: Synthesizing Poems

Level: College

By pushing your students to synthesize two poems, they gain an understanding of the mindset for synthesizing all their pre-writing material into a draft of a node poem. This activity helps them find ways to work with material that they do not initially find exciting or engaging. This is especially important for students who are most comfortable with writing poems that focus on emotional expression.

Required Time

15-25 minutes in class

Materials

Prior to coming to class, students should review all of the reading assigned thus far and select two poems to bring into class. One of the poems should be their favorite poem and the other should be their least favorite poem.

Writing Task List

  1. Instruct students to count the number of words in each poem. Once done, tell them to find the average word count for the two poems.
  2. Give students the task of creating their own poem based on the two that they brought in. Write these rules on the board:

a. The total word count of the poem should meet the average word count of your most and least favorite poems.
b. You are not allowed to create new words.
c. 70% of the words must come from the least favorite poem.
d. 30% of the words must come from the favorite poem.
e. You are allowed to rearrange words and pull them out of context.

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