Lesson Plan 5 – I Heard it from Alice Zucchini, Poems About the Garden

I Heard it from Alice Zucchini, Poems About the Garden

Written by Juanita Havill

Illustrated by Christine Davenier

Adaptable Lesson Plan for Grades 3-5

Purpose

With the use of three poems, “The Monster”, “Vegetable Stew”,  and “Garden Lullaby”, students will define personification and learn how it is put in use through the read poetry.  Students will work together to write a poem with the use of word lists, and then work independently with a graphic organizer to write their own poetry with the use of personification.  Lessons take place over a four day period of time.

 

Standards (Ohio)

ELA

(Third Grade)

Language

L.3.1 Demonstrate command of the conventions for standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.

L.3.3  Use Knowledge of language and its conventions when writing, speaking, reading, or listening.

L.3.4  Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words and phrases based on grade 3 reading and content, choosing flexibly from a range of strategies.

L.3.5 Demonstrate understanding of figurative language, word relationships and nuances in word meanings.

L.3.6 Acquire and use accurately grade-appropriate conversational, general academic, and domain-specific words and phrases, including those that signal spatial and temporal relationships.

 

Reading Literature

RL.3.1 Ask and answer questions to demonstrate understanding of a text, referring explicitly to the text as the basis for the answers.

RL.3.4 Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, distinguishing literal from nonliteral language.

RL.3.5 Refer to parts of stories, dramas, and poems when writing or speaking about a text, using terms such as chapter, scene, and stanza; describe how each successive part builds on  earlier sections.

RL.3.9 Compare and contrast the themes, settings, and plots of stories written by the same author about the same or similar characters.

 

Speaking and Listening

SL.3.1 Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions with diverse partners on grade level topics and texts, building on others’s ideas and expressing their own clearly.

SL.3.3  Ask and answer questions about information from a speaker, offering appropriate elaboration and detail.

 

Writing

W.3.3 Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, descriptive details, and clear event sequences.

W.3.4 With guidance and support from adults, produce writing in which the development and organization are appropriate to task and purpose.

W.3.5 With guidance and support from peers and adults, develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, and editing.

W.3.8 Recall information from experiences or gather information from print and digital sources; take brief notes on sources and sort evidence into provided categories.

 

(Fourth Grade)

Language

L.4.1 Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.

L.4.3 Use knowledge of language and its conventions when writing, speaking, reading, or listening.

L.4.4 Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words and phrases based on grade 4 reading and content, choosing flexibly from a range of strategies.

L.4.5 Demonstrate understanding of figurative language, word relationships, and nuances in word meanings.

L.4.6 Acquire and use accurately grade-appropriate general academic and domain-specific words and phrases, including those that signal precise actions, emotions, or states of being and that are basic to a particular topic.

 

Reading Literature

RL.4.1 Refer to details and examples in  a text when explaining what the text says explicitly and when drawing inferences from the text.

RL.4.2 Determine a theme of a story, drama, or poem from details in the text; summarize the text.

RL.4.3 Determine in depth a character, setting or event in a story or drama, drawing on specific details in the text.

RL.4.5 Explain major differences between poems, drama, and prose, and refer to the structural elements of poems and drama when writing or speaking about a text.

 

Speaking and Listening

SL.4.1  Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions with diverse partners on grade level topics and texts, building on others’s ideas and expressing their own clearly.

SL.4.3  Identify the reasons and evidence a speaker provides to support particular points.

 

Writing

W.4.3 Write narrative to develop real or  imagined experiences or events using effective technique, descriptive details, and clear event sequences.

W.4.4 Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development and organization are appropriate to task, purpose and audience.

W.4.5 With guidance and support from peers and adults, develop and strengthen writing as needed by  planning, revising and editing.

W.4.8 Recall relevant information from experiences or gather relevant information from print and digital sources; take notes and categorize information, and provide a list of sources.

 

(Fifth Grade)

Language

L.5.1 Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.

L.5.3 Use knowledge of language and its conventions when writing, speaking, reading or listening.

L.5.4 Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words and phrases based on grade 5 reading and content, choosing flexibly from a range of strategies.

L.5.5 Demonstrate understanding of figurative language, word relationships, and nuances in word meanings.

L.5.6 Acquire and use accurately grade appropriate general academic and domain-specific words and phrases, including those that signal contrast, addition, and other logical relationships.

 

Reading Literature

RL.5.1 Quote accurately from a text when explaining what the text says explicitly and when drawing inferences from the text.

RL.5.3 Compare and contrast two or more characters, settings, or events in a story or drama, drawing on specific details in the text.

RL.5.4 Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative language such as metaphors and similes.

RL.5.5 Explain how a series of chapters, scenes, or stanzas fits together to provide the overall structure of a particular story, drama, or poem.

 

Speaking and Listening

SL.5.1  Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions with diverse partners on grade level topics and texts, building on others’s ideas and expressing their own clearly.

SL.5.3  Summarize the points a speaker makes and explain how each claim is supported by reasons and evidence.

 

Writing

W.5.3 Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, descriptive details, and clear event sequences.

W.5.4 Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development and organization are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.

W.5.5 With guidance and support from peers and adults, develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach.

W.5.8 Recall relevant information from experiences or gather relevant information from print and digital sources; summarize or paraphrase information in notes and finished work, and provide a list of sources.

 

Vocabulary

imagery

metaphor

personification

simile

stanza


Materials

 

Engage (Day 1)

 

1. Explain to students that they will be listening to and reading poems that contain examples of personification, one type of figurative language used in writing. Use the following questions to discuss personification and arrive at a definition:

  • What word do you notice inside the word personification?
  • How does the word “person” give you a clue as to the meaning of personification?
  • Why do you think a writer would want to use personification in a poem?

After a brief discussion, establish with students that personification is the attribution of human qualities (such as emotion) and actions to nonhuman objects or ideas.

 Read Aloud: I Heard it from Alice Zucchini Poems from Read Aloud: The Monster, Vegetable Stew, and Garden Lullaby.

2. Introduce the poem “Monster” to students through projection of the poem onto a whiteboard. Conduct a choral reading, assigning different students to each read one line of the poem. Ask students to try and define any unfamiliar vocabulary (for example, cower) using the context of the poem, providing definitions when they are unable to determine what a word means.
3. Ask students to identify examples of personification in the poem. Discuss why the author has chosen to personify the items in the garden. Questions for discussion include:

  • What kind of words does the use to set the mood of the poem? Can you think of other words that might do the same thing?
  • How does the author intensify the image of “the monster”? What does the author show the vegetables to feel about “the monster”?

You may choose to write student responses on chart paper here and after discussing the two other poems. This will be useful during Sessions 2 and 3.

4. Follow the same procedure for “Vegetable Stew”. Possible discussion questions include:

  • What is different about how this poem uses personification compared to the first poem?
  • Why do you think the author chose to have the tomato talk?
  • What kinds of descriptive words does the author use? Why do you think the author uses these words?
5. Read and discuss “Garden Lullaby”. Possible questions for discussion include:

  • What are the author’s feelings toward night?
  • What does the author want the audience to do?
  • How does personification help the author make her point?
  • What do you notice about the language the author uses to describe this time of day? How does the author use repetition to make her point?
6. Ask students to compare and contrast the three poems. Some suggested questions are as follows:

  • What are the different moods of each poem?
  • What are the different types of words and patterns that each poem uses?
  • Which poem do you like the best? Why?

 

Explore  (Day 2)

  1. Write “Verbs” on the top of one piece of chart paper and “Nouns” at the top of another. Have these on display next to the copies of the poems you read in Session 1. If you have recorded student responses to the discussion questions, have these posted as well. Have students read each of the three poems aloud and ask for volunteers to remind the class what personification is and how these poems make use of it.
  2. Ask students to look at the types of things that these three poems are about. What nouns do they notice? What does the poet choose to personify? What kinds of words does the author  use to do this?
  3. Keeping the poems in front of the students, ask them to suggest nouns and verbs they think might work well in writing a poem that uses personification. Write their responses on the chart papers labeled “Nouns” and “Verbs.” Try to generate at least 20 nouns and 20 verbs; the more words students list, the more options they will have in writing their own poems.

 

Explain (Day 3)

Note: Before the start of this session, transfer the noun and verb lists from Session 2 onto colored paper, one color for nouns, another for verbs. Make enough copies so that you have 10 nouns and 10 verbs for each student in the class. Cut out the nouns and verbs and randomly place ten of each in an envelope for each student.  

  1. Explain to students that they will each receive an envelope containing 10 nouns and 10 verbs. Instruct them not to open the envelope until everyone has received one.
  2. Tell students that they have one minute to arrange the nouns and verbs in the envelopes into random pairs on their desks. Discourage students from trying to arrange the words to make sense – the stranger the combination, the better.
  3. When the minute is up, ask students to choose their four favorite noun/verb combinations. Explain that they will use the four word combinations to write original poems containing personification.
  4. Distribute the Imagery Graphic Organizer and review the directions. Ask students for three or four sample word pairs and use them to model how they should fill out the sheet. You can ask for contributions from the class to do this; write student responses on a sheet of chart paper.

For the pair “straw hat/standing”, your sample might look like this:

Why: because it is awake

How: cold and alone

Where: in the starry night

  1. Once students have completed the graphic organizers, have them return to the responses you have written on the chart paper. Ask students to help you write a sentence using the phrases. Explain that they don’t have to use every idea, just the ones that they like the best. Encourage them to link the images from each sentence thematically. For example, if you had the following word combinations: straw hat/standing, sparrows/scatter, grubs/haunt, and leaves/hatch, students might write a poem about being asleep and dreaming:

The straw hat is standing awake, cold and alone, in the starry night.

Sparrows scatter under blankets of dreams.

Grubs haunt with pink lillies and butterfly wings.

Leaves hatch thoughts of spring when walked through on the sidewalk.

  1. Students should then write their own poems using the graphic organizers. Circulate as students write their poems. As you notice interesting images in student work, share them with the class in order to keep emphasizing the importance of creating imagery that is new and unique.

 

Elaborate (Day 4)

  1. Congratulate students on the work they did on their personification poems. Explain that they will work with a partner to review and edit each other’s poems prior to turning their rough drafts into final copies.
  2. Introduce the Peer Editing Checklist. Explain that each partner will trade his or her poem with the other and then, review it and make suggestions using the questions on the checklist.
  3. Go over the questions on the checklist with the students as a group. Clarify any questions students have. Emphasize the constructive nature of the process and that students are offering helpful advice.
  4. Divide students into pairs. Instruct them to trade poems. Give each student a checklist to use as a guide as they review their partner’s poem. Have them write comments and suggestions in the spaces provided on the checklist. As students complete their reviews, they should return the checklist and poem to the writer. Circulate while students are working, answering questions and observing.
  5. Give students time to read the checklists and rewrite their poems.
  6. Bring students back together to share their favorite personification images from their partners’ poems. Ask them to explain why they especially liked the particular images. If students are willing, ask them to read their poems to the class.

 

Evaluate:

  • Informally assess student comprehension of personification during the discussion in Session 1 and at the end of Session 4. You want to make sure that students understand not only what personification is, but also how poets use it to create mood and imagery.
  • Informally assess students’ ability to work collaboratively to generate the noun and verb lists, write the class poem, review each other’s work, and discuss each other’s use of personification. You may also choose to collect and review the Peer Editing Checklists to check how much feedback students share and how well they understand the concept of personification.
  • Collect and review the completed Brainstorming Graphic Organizers and the student poems to assess student comprehension of and ability to use figurative language and personification. You can assess these using the Poetry Personification Rubric. Link to Poetry Personification Rubric

 

Further Extensions

  • Allow students to share their poems in a poetry reading. You might also have students illustrate their poems for a class literary magazine.
  • Have students create Acrostic Poems or Diamante Poems that use personification.
  • Direct students to create their own lists of 10 nouns and 10 verbs to be used in a second poetry writing exercise focused on personification. Have students put the words they chose in envelopes to trade with a friend. Discuss how the second exercise turned out differently than the first because of the wider selection of words.