Unit 1


How can we make a classroom that everyone wants to come to? What conditions do there need to be for a classroom to be successful for everyone? What individual talents, passions, and cultures do each of us bring to our community?

To begin the year, students will create a mosaic of poetry tiles. Last year’s class created a brilliant wall of poems to greet students this year!


    How can we make a classroom that everyone wants to come to? During the first three weeks of school we will puzzle through this question and build a community together by completing a mix of in-class activities, including: writing poetry about family and community, sharing our writing through ‘read arounds,’ a scavenger hunt, and painting a class mural that will display each student’s poem. By the end of this unit, we will have a class celebration and artwork that will honor the collective talents, interests, and passions through our class mural.

Creating a Mural of Poems

Here is a brief outline of how we’ll take small steps toward accomplishing our high goal:

  1. We will start by reading powerful poems by writers with diverse perspectives about what it means to belong to a community.
  2. Taking a cue from the poets we read, each student will write poems about themselves and their community. Each of these poems will provide students with a chance to experiment with different poetic styles and techniques. It will also provide the opportunity for writers to receive early feedback and tips for polishing their writing skills.
  3. See your student’s Reading Packet for information on grading.
  4. We will learn how to use Google Classroom to upload documents and share work.
  5. Using the positive and structured feedback they’ve received in class, students will      revise their drafts.
  6. Each student will print their final draft on a class template, cut it out, and then copy  it onto their tile by using blender markers.
  7. On the reverse side of their tile (bonus step), students can add images, painting, or  photos.
  8. We will have a final class ‘read around,’ place our tiles together to form our poetry    mural, and have a class party!

Once your tile is complete, we’ll slide it into a frame as a part of our class mosaic!

Online Resources for Unit 1

  1. Student Reading Packet
  2. PowerPoint Slides for Week 1
  3. PowerPoint Slides for Week 2
  4. PowerPoint Slides for Week 3
  5. Final Poem Revisions Checklist
  6. Guided Notes: Metaphors and Similes
  7. Guided Notes: Sensory Writing
  8. Metaphors and Similes Exit Ticket
  9. Sensory Writing Exit Ticket
  10. PowerPoint Slides for Week 4
  11. Tutorial for Printing with Google Classroom
  12. Final Poem Template
  13. PowerPoint Slides for Week 5

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