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Narrative Writing Write a Narrative Poem

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1 Narrative Writing Write a Narrative Poem
Unit 1 Narrative Writing Write a Narrative Poem Launch the Lesson Read aloud to the class a narrative poem or part of a narrative poem. There are several options in this textbook. Other possibilities that are available online include “Ex-Basketball Player,” by John Updike, “The Raven,” by Edgar Allan Poe, or “The Song of Hiawatha,” by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. Discuss with students what makes a narrative poem effective.

2 Narrative Poem What is a narrative poem?
A narrative poem is a poem that tells a story. A traditional form of narrative is the epic, a long story often told in verse that features heroes and foes and provides a portrait of a culture. In this assignment, you will write a narrative poem about a contemporary hero facing a contemporary “foe.” Make Connections Many of the stories students read, the movies they watch, and even the video games they play focus on the classic struggle between good and evil. In Old English storytelling, this type of tale often was told in a narrative poem, or one that tells a story. Ask students how they might apply this traditional form to a modern-day story. Contemporary heroes may not face foes such as monsters and dragons, but they encounter a variety of challenges within the culture in which they live. For more review and background on narrative poetry, direct students to pages 20–23 of their textbooks.

3 Assignment Purpose Audience
Compose a narrative poem about a modern-day hero Purpose To describe a contemporary hero using traditional poetic conventions Audience An author interested in using your narrative poem to introduce a book on your hero Audience and Purpose Point out to students that before they begin any writing task, they must have a clear idea of their audience and purpose. Ask students what they will need to include in their narrative poem to help the audience understand the hero and the challenge.

4 A successful narrative poem has these qualities:
tells the story of a hero facing a challenge uses poetic conventions such as stanza, meter, and rhyme uses imagery, sound devices, and figurative language Refer students to the Language Arts Handbook, Section 4, Writing, for additional instruction on the writing process.

5  Prewrite Select a Topic
Many people can be considered modern-day heroes: police and firefighters protecting lives teachers improving minds scientists curing diseases What other modern-day heroes can you think of?

6  Prewrite Select a Topic
Make a list of three or four specific people who are possible heroes. For each, identify a challenge he or she faces. Choose the hero you feel you can best portray in a narrative poem. Select a Topic Encourage students to choose a hero they like and admire and whose accomplishments can be readily described.

7  Prewrite Gather Information
Research your hero to learn more about his or her life. If the person is famous, use both library and Internet resources. If the person is not famous, talk to others or draw from your own experience with this individual. Gather information about this person’s background, personal qualities, and accomplishments.

8  Prewrite Gather Information
Also gather information about the foe or challenge your hero has faced. Is it another person or group of people? Is it a custom or law? Look into the background of the foe, and identify its qualities. Determine how this foe has stood in opposition to your hero. Record your research findings using a graphic organizer like the one on the next slide. Gather Information Suggest that if students cannot add at least three items in each portion of the graphic organizer, they might choose a different hero about whom they have more information.

9 Hero Chart HERO FOE Background Qualities Accomplishments RESULTS
Use the interactive fields to complete a sample Hero Chart in class with students. Refer students to the completed example on page 81 in their textbooks.

10  Prewrite Organize Ideas
Review the information you recorded on each side of the chart. Which details best represent the qualities and achievements of your hero? Which details best represent those of your foe? Put checkmarks next to five or so items on each side that you will use to tell your hero’s story. Identify information from the bottom “RESULTS” section to use to create an overall impression of your hero and his or her challenge. Organize Ideas Encourage students to choose the most dramatic or heroic accomplishments of their subject.

11  Prewrite Write an Organizing Statement
Based on the items you have chosen, write one sentence that states the message you want to convey about your hero. This sentence will not appear in your narrative poem but will help you focus on your message. One student wrote this organizing statement: Write an Organizing Statement Help students summarize the results from their Hero Chart in one succinct sentence. Martin Luther King Jr. was determined to bring about change using peaceful means, no matter what his opponents did to him.

12  Draft Conventions of Poetry
Writing a poem involves using the unique conventions of poetry. For instance, whereas a work of prose, such as an essay, is written in paragraphs, a poem is written in stanzas. Common types of stanzas include couplets, comprised of two lines, and quatrains, comprised of four lines.

13  Draft Conventions of Poetry
Traditional poems also have meter and rhyme. A regular rhythmic pattern in poetry is called meter. Meter is determined by the number of beats, or stresses, in each line. The repetition of sounds at the ends of words, as with sight and rite, is called rhyme. Many poems have end rhyme, in which the words rhyme at the ends of lines. A common rhyme scheme, or pattern of end rhymes, is to have every other line rhyme. Conventions of Poetry Encourage students to reread some narrative poems to review meter and rhyme. They may find a poem that can serve as a model for the meter and rhyme they will use. It may also be helpful for students to make a list of literary devices and refer to this list during writing. For review, direct students to Understanding Literary Forms: Poetry, on pages 20–21 of the textbook.

14  Draft Conventions of Poetry
Other conventions of poetry relate to how words are used, or word choice. By using literary devices such as imagery and figures of speech like simile and metaphor, poets can mold language in unique ways. The example of a simile from Gilgamesh can be found in lines 51–52 of the excerpt “The Head of Humbaba” on page 58. Discuss with students that poets generally write with a limited number of words, and so they are particular to choose just the right words. See the Literary Terms Handbook for definitions and examples of these and other terms. Example of Simile The stars against the midnight sky were sparkling like mica in a riverbed. from Gilgamesh

15  Draft Conventions of Poetry
For this assignment, focus on writing a traditional narrative poem that is organized into stanzas has both meter and rhyme In addition, experiment with using at least two literary devices, such as imagery, alliteration, and metaphor. “Poetry is a mirror which makes beautiful that which is distorted.” —Percy Bysshe Shelley

16  Draft Structure Unlike an essay or report, a poem does not have an introduction, body, and conclusion. However, as a story, a narrative poem should be structured to provide an opening and a closing in addition to the details of the story. Follow the three-part structure outlined on the following slide.

17 Narrative Poem Structure Opening stanza
Introduce your hero, and create a context for his or her story. Middle stanza Write one stanza for each main point you want to make about your hero. Closing stanza Show how the story ends, and create a final impression of your hero.

18  Draft Opening Stanza The opening stanza of your narrative poem should introduce your hero and set the stage for his or her story.

19  Draft Middle Stanza To write the middle stanzas, use the information you mapped out in the Prewrite stage. Look at the items you checked off in your Hero Chart. Plan to write one stanza for each main point you want to make about this person. Begin by jotting down each point in a phrase or two. Focus on the key words associated with this point, such as the person’s name, and use these words in creating rhyme.

20  Draft Final Stanza Your final stanza should do two things:
Bring the story to an end Leave the reader with a final impression

21 Rita Dove, former poet laureate and Pulitzer Prize winner, notes that “poetry is language at its most distilled and most powerful.” Making careful word choices is critical to poetry. Dove also says about writing poetry, DOVE “In working on a poem, I love to revise. Lots of younger poets don't enjoy this, but in the process of revision I discover things.” “In order to convey things accurately, the human being is almost forced to find the most precise words possible, which is a precondition for literature.” Discuss in class the points Sasha considered in choosing words during the Draft and Revise stages listed in the “What Great Writers Do” box on page 83.

22 DRAFT STAGE Opening Stanza
A dream was born one winter day. Georgia had found a King. A man set out to pave the way for civil rights to begin. Establishes subject and context Defines challenge Opening Stanza: Draft Stage The first stanza Sasha wrote during the Draft stage is shown in the left-hand column on page 83. In it, she presents Dr. King and establishes a context for his challenge, but she does not pay much attention to word choices. She will fine-tune her use of language in the Revise stage.

23 REVISE STAGE Opening Stanza
A dream was born one winter day. Georgia the South had found sired a its King. A man set out to pave the way for civil rights to begin sing. Improves meter and rhyme Creates alliteration and imagery Opening Stanza: Revise Stage Look at the chart on page 83 (this time, the right-hand column) to see how Sasha revised her opening stanza. Sasha made improvements in word choice in her opening stanza. In line 2, the word King must be used to introduce the subject. Using sing in line 4, instead of begin, establishes rhyme and creates an image associated with civil rights. In line 2 of this stanza, replacing Georgia with the South helps restore the meter and creates alliteration (South and sired).

24 DRAFT STAGE Third Stanza He went on and on, not one to quit
while others fought and raged. They bombed his house and soiled his name but they could not make him stop. Identifies events in hero’s life Focuses on his courage Draft Stage: Third Stanza See the draft of Sasha’s third stanza in the chart on page 83. It describes some of the things King’s foes did to try to stop him. Note that Sasha has not followed through with the rhyme scheme of the opening stanza. Rather than struggle with the rhyme while drafting, she decided to keep writing and resolve this problem in the Revise stage.

25 REVISE STAGE Third Stanza
He went on and on, On he went, not one to quit while others fought and raged. They bombed his house and soiled his name but they could not make him stop change. Improves meter and rhyme Revise Stage: Third Stanza In stanza 3, revising lines 1 and 4 restores the meter. Replacing the last word of line 4 with change creates slant rhyme, since change almost rhymes with raged (line 2), but not quite.

26 DRAFT STAGE Final Stanza Some of the people he fought
wanted him to stop. With a bullet he was killed— but his ideas, they could not end. Brings story to an end Creates final impression Draft Stage: Final Stanza Your final stanza should do two things: bring the story to an end and leave the reader with a final impression. Does Sasha do these two things in her final stanza? Look at her draft on page 83.

27 REVISE STAGE Final Stanza Sadly, some of the people those he fought
wanted him to stop would rather break than bend. With a bullet shot he was killed stopped— but his ideas dream, they could not end. Creates alliteration and metaphor Improves meter and rhyme Creates better final impression Revise Stage: Final Stanza In the closing stanza, making better word choices in line 1 creates alliteration (sadly and some). A metaphor is created in line 2 about people “breaking” rather than “bending.” Rewording the last two lines creates consonance (shot and stopped) and also leaves the reader with a better final impression. Repetition of the word dream in the opening and closing stanzas alludes to King’s famous speech and provides continuity.

28  Revise Evaluate Your Draft
You can evaluate your own poem or exchange poems with a classmate and evaluate each other’s work. Either way, think carefully about what works well and what can be improved. Start by looking at the content and organization. Make sure that the poem tells a story based on the organizing statement. Revise for Content, Organization, and Style Point out that revising a poem can be a lengthy process and that published poets might work on a single poem for a year or more. Also let students know that several false starts can occur before a poet finds the right voice, topic, or form to make a truly workable poem.

29  Revise Evaluate Your Draft
Each stanza should present a new idea about the hero. The poem also should follow the poetic conventions of stanza, meter, and rhyme. It should use at last two literary devices, such as imagery, alliteration, and metaphor. Make notes directly on the poem about what changes need to be made. Use the Revision Checklist on the next two slides to guide your evaluation. Tell students to review the notes they made as they evaluated their drafts. They should also apply comments from their peer reviewer in effectively revising their drafts.

30 Content & Organization
Does the opening stanza introduce the hero and set the context for his or her story? Does each stanza relate clearly to the organizing statement? Does each stanza use rhyme, and meter? Does each stanza use literary devices, such as imagery and figures of speech? Refer students to the Revision Checklist on page 84. Students should use the checklist to help them evaluate their poems.

31 Do all of your subjects and verbs agree?
Does the closing stanza finish the story and create a final impression of the hero? Grammar & Style Do all of your subjects and verbs agree? Do you use pronouns correctly throughout? Do the pronouns agree with their antecedents? Tell students to review the Grammar & Style Workshops in this units on pages 19 and 71.

32  Revise Proofread for Errors
Read through your poem again to check for any remaining errors. Use proofreader’s symbols to mark any errors you find. Print out a final draft and read the entire poem once more before turning it in. Proofread for Errors The purpose of proofreading is to check for remaining errors. Students can look for errors as they evaluate their poems, but they should focus on checking for errors that they might have missed or that were introduced in new material they added. Reading their drafts aloud will not only help them catch errors they might otherwise have missed, but it will also help them ensure that their meter and rhyme are correct. Suggest that students set aside their poem for a time before they proofread it, so they can look at it with fresh eyes.

33 Student Model Review the Student Model final draft on page 85 of your textbook and answer the questions that appear in red in the margin. Final Draft Take a look at Sasha’s final draft on page 85. Review how she worked through the three stages of the writing process: Prewrite, Draft, and Revise.

34 Writing Follow-Up Publish and Present
Perform your poem for the class using costumed readers, props, and musical accompaniment. Show the class a videotaped presentation of your poem. Enhance the storytelling aspect of your narrative poem by illustrating one stanza from it. Publish and Present Consider working students’ presentations into a medieval banquet. Suggest that students use props in their presentations, such as a cardboard cutout of their hero’s weapon of choice, a portrait of the hero, or a “Wanted” poster describing the hero’s foe.

35 Writing Follow-Up Reflect
Think of several contemporary heroes from television programs, movies, and novels. How is the modern-day hero alike and different from the hero depicted in Anglo-Saxon literature? Which hero do you prefer? Why? Reflect Students may benefit from forming small groups and discussing their feelings about the project.

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