Thursday, March 24, 2016

Poetry with Emotion

First thing first - I have not blogged in for....ev...errrrr!!! 
I have gone completely off the map this year! I feel like this year has not only FLOWN by me, but has been more difficult than ever! Why is this? I don't know why I feel like I have spent this year recreating the wheel for no reason...making things a lot harder for myself than I need to. Anyone else having this problem?

We recently had our "big" state writing test. We had been writing non-stop for weeks to prepare for this, so the kids (and the teachers!) were exhausted! As you all know, we can't stop teaching because there is just so much content to teach in one year, but we wanted to give our kids a little brain break to show our appreciation to them for all of their hard work!

We decided to figure out a way to turn a popular movie that all of our kids knew into a lesson idea! 

The movie: "Inside Out"

The standard:
Analyze how visual and multimedia elements contribute to the meaning, tone, or beauty of a text (e.g., graphic novel, multimedia presentation of fiction, folktale, myth, poem).

The end result: 

The game plan:
Discuss the movie, the 5 moods/emotions in the movie, and different examples given in the movie when that specific emotion is shown.
(Those of you who have not seen Inside Out, there are 5 emotions presented in the movie: fear, disgust, anger, sadness, and joy. Each emotion is represented by its own character. These characters are 'inside' of a little girl's brain throughout the movie. They show how the emotions all work together inside of our brain and affect the way that we feel or act)

After discussing the above, have the students choose one of the emotions/characters they want to focus on. We are going to write poetry that gives our reader that specific emotion you chose.

Display this poem as an example of a poem that makes us feel sad:
As you can see, the poem does not say "sad", but it is still able to make you feel "sadness". How does the poem do this? Discuss this with the students.

Give each student a paper plate and display the characters from the movie on the board so they can see how they look. The students create a mask using the paper plate and coloring supplies. 

I told my students that during the time they were making their mask, they are able to think about words that would be useful in their poem. Certain words can give us feeling without directly stating the feeling/emotion. My students had out a sheet of paper on their desk to jot down words that came to mind while they were coloring their masks.

When their masks are complete, they write their poem. I gave them an 8 line minimum, but no other rules for rhyming, etc. I was giving them more creative freedom simply because this was supposed to be a mental brain break activity after testing. You may choose to give them more guidelines if you are using this as a more strictly standard based assignment. 

I was really excited about our end result! The bulletin board came out super cute! I forgot to snap a photo of it, but I will try to remember and add it to this post soon! 


  1. Fantastic idea! Thank you for sharing this. I might do it for Open House. I hope you do post the bulletin board picture!

  2. I love this idea, and it seems like a great way to make students think they are getting a break while actually still covering standards after state testing. I am putting this on my ideas list.