Poetry Tower Building

TITLE:  Poetry Tower Building

GRADE: 4 – 8

MATERIALS/TIME REQUIRED:  LOTS of index cards, various sizes and colors (at least twenty packs…but you can re0use forever!)…some prep time is required, but, again, you can reuse.  40-50 minutes

PROVIDE FOR INCLUSION – A You Question, Energizer, or Linking Strategy: Can you name a poem you have read that you remember?  What poem?  Why?

IDENTIFY THE OBJECTIVES: Students read and respond to significant works of literature that reflect and enhance their studies of history and social science. They clarify the ideas and connect them to other literary works.  Students work together on tasks, demonstrate mutual respect and appreciation

IDENTIFY THE STRATEGY: Tower Building (p. 356, DG p. 369, EA p. 458)

Read the poem or selection of literature.  Discuss.  Have prepared stacks of index cards, color-coded, each with ONE word of the stanza, passage, paragraph, etc.  Divide students into groups (large).  Have a large section of floor (best) or table space for this.  Give each group a pile of colored cards (mixed up) to reconstruct to match the selection just read and studied and discussed. Tell students they must reconstruct correctly, accurately, and in a space to be reserved for this product.  When finished, provide students with ample index cards with which they can construct castles, towers, building, structures, designs (that may or may not have anything to do with the actual reading/selection…but the end result and the engagement is pretty amazing.

Periodically stop students to reflect and check for understanding and review the discussion of the selection.

Allow no more than 20 minutes for “construction”.

Then have students retreat to a “viewing” area and re-read the selection, since it is right there, among the castles and towers, reconstructed with index cards!

See photo for an example

PROVIDE AN OPPORTUNITY FOR APPRECIATION:  Invite students to observe and summarize what they see in an adjective or noun…

REFLECTION:  What have you learned?  Why will you remember?  How could this be improved?  Why did we do this?  What was your role in your group?

AUTHENTIC ASSESSMENT: Have students use the word cards (those which represent the selection/poem/etc. and build something that visually demonstrates what the words describe…?!

►Group Development Process

►Cognitive Theory

►Multiple Intelligences

►Cooperative Learning


►Reflective Practice

►Authentic Assessment