Creative Practices

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Creative Practices’s Docs 6th Grade ELA/ART Lesson Plan

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Lesson Plan 6th grade




Class ELA/With an integration of ART


The Project!


You’re a poet!  You’re an artist!  And now it’s time to show everybody!  You are going to work on two fun projects, then write and illustrate shape poems based on one of the books you are reading; finally you will then create that shape, which you are making a connection to. This is your chance to express yourself – be creative!


Readers will make connection to the text they are reading, by looking for descriptions and details in the text to connect to personal experiences. Artist will create poems and a medium to reflect those poems.


The Shape of their poem will be something significant to them.


Examples of Shape Poems:  The following from: (CAST Strategic Learning Edition Project Reader Response Poetry Examples Poniatowski   12/2002)



Shape Poems


A Shape Poem is written in the shape of something it is describing.  You can use nouns, adjective, and verbs any way you want, but beware – it’s hard to turn a poem into a shape!  You may want to start with a sentence or two, and then arrange your words into a shape.   Bird #3, by Don Carlson, is a poem about a raven – see the shape it’s in?  It contains two sentences.

Sentence 1: Poe’s Raven told him nothing nevermore and Vincent’s circling crows were a threat to destroy sunlight.

Sentence 2: Now I saw a bird, black with a yellow beak, orange rubber legs pecking to kill the lawn, storm bird hates with claw, evil beak, sun and eye (note that the author has chosen not to use a period after the word, “eye,” and this is an incomplete sentence)




raven told

him nothing nevermore

and Vincent’s circling

crows were a threat to destroy

sunlight.  Now I saw a bird, black with a yellow

beak, orange rubber legs

pecking to kill the

lawn, storm bird

hates with claw,

evil beak,




and eye


If you were working on this project you can create the Raven anyway you like!


Below is a shape poem called The Oak Tree, by a seventh-grader.  It is a poem about a tree, in the shape of a tree.  It is made up of 5 sentences:


1)  I am in the forest waiting, for someone to look at me.

2)  I can hear roaring from somewhere, getting louder and louder.

3)  I can see my brothers falling, then it’s my turn to be chopped and made into paper.

4)  People write on me now.

5)  I am now getting taken to the teacher.








in  the

forest  waiting,

For  someone

to  look  at  me.

I can  hear  roaring  from

somewhere, Getting  louder

and  louder.I  can  see  my

brothers  falling,

Then  it’s  my

turn  to



and  made

into paper.

People  write  on  me  now.

I  am  now  getting  taken  to  the  teacher.





Making A Connection To Text: Recall yesterday in the memoir “The Jacket” Gary Soto recalls his sixth grade year, when his mother disregarded his request for a black leather biker jacket and gave him an oversized “guacamole green” jacket instead. He blames that “ugly jacket” for his poor grades, his being unpopular, and his failure with the girls.


Today I want to teach you how to make connections to a text by looking for descriptions and details in the text to connect them to your to personal experiences. You choose from two of the projects below. You will then take those details and creatively produce a shape poem and then make it into an Art project if so inclined it can be 3D.


We are learning this because when you connect your own experiences and knowledge to what you read, and the connections you make, this will help you develop a stronger understanding of the writer’s message. You will then work with your creative self on two different projects. You will then create a shape poem. We will then use different Art mediums to create that shape. This will be a week project.


Teaching: When I read from the text “My Side of the Mountain” and notice how I am looking for descriptions and details in the text and then connecting them to my own personal experiences.


I will then read from the text “My Side of the Mountain” the first paragraph on page xi: (As I read I am doing a think aloud-ex. When I wanted to run away from home when I was a kid.)


“When I was in elementary school, I packed my suitcase and told my mother I was running away from home. As I envisioned it, I would live by a waterfall in the woods and catch fish on hooks made from the forks of tree limbs, as my father taught me. I would walk among the wildflowers and trees, listen to the birds, read the weather report in the clouds and wind, and stride down mountainsides independent and free. Wisely, my mother did not try to dissuade me. She had been through this herself. She checked my bag to see if I had my toothbrush and a postcard to let her know how I was getting along, and kissed me good-by. Forty minutes later I was home”…


Now I want you to reread a targeted passage from the “Jacket” lines 5-14 and connect it to a time when you felt your parents did not listen to you or understand you. Now, how does this help you understand Soto’s message of disappointment? When you reread this passage look for descriptions and details so to start making your connections, to your own personal experiences, I want you to start using this skill to develop a stronger understanding of the writer’s message. Then you are going to share them with your group.


Active Engagement: Now we are going to work in our ELA groups to create either of the two projects below:


Project 1: Develop Sales Pitch-Connect

In “The Jacket,” Soto perceives his green vinyl jacket to be ugly and completely undesirable. Yet someone (his mother) chose to purchase it. Students will image that their job is to sell this jacket. You will review the jacket’s disadvantages. Write them down and NOW think of how you can present these disadvantages as positive features that will connect the jacket to potential customers. For, instance Soto thinks the jacket is cheap, a sales person might describe it as affordable. You will then present your sales pitch to the class for the share, then lead the class in a discussion about persuasion.


Project 2: Write Comic Strip: Connect the Plot

You will rewrite the “Jacket” in comic strip form. (At least 3 Frames) focus on key elements of the story and connect them to a personal experience of your own, use drawings and speech bubbles to capture the thoughts and feelings of you and the author of the story. I encourage you to use HUMOR!


If you finish the first project continue to the second project!


Once the projects are competed students will then write a shape poem with a reading of their choice, connect it to a personal experience then create an art project to go with it.


  • Classroom Resources
    • A shape poem example (SEE ABOVE)
    • White board or chart paper for brainstorming activity
    • Art supplies
      • water color paints
      • oil pastels
      • charcoal pencils
      • magazines
      • glue and scissors
      • poster board
      • computer drawing program
      • An art book (to show examples)
    • Multimedia computer

Set up “art stations” around the classroom (or separate room). Make sure that there are several options for students to choose from: collage, watercolor, charcoal, crayons, clay sculpture, etc. Talk to students about using colors, textures, and shapes to express feelings.


Allow students to select their art media. As they work, encourage students to make connections between their art and their poetry and most importantly to text they are reading!!

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