Revising your poetry

Revision Process 

Use the following questions to self and peer review your poems:

  • Did the poet follow the structure of the poem?arms
  • Are there the required amount of lines, poems, or quatrains?
  • Are the words well-chosen, descriptive, specific and precise (just right for the tone of the poem)? What changes can you recommend?
  • What poetic techniques did the poet use? Can you suggest other techniques they could use?
  • Is the poem THOUGHTFULLY written? What suggestions can you make for improvement?
  • You can follow these tips by Allan Wolf, professional poet, on how to go about revising your poem:  Revision ideas from Allan Wolf
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Revising Poetry


Step 1:  Verbs and nouns
Review a poem that you have already created

    • replace weak verbs with stronger verbs
    • replace general nouns with more specific nouns
    • are the words well-chosen and descriptive?

Step 2: Poetic devices
Are there any LOGICAL spots to insert…..

    • a simile – comparing two unlike things using like or as
    • a metaphor – comparing two unlike things without using like or as
    • personification – giving a non-human thing human-like qualities
    • hyperbole – use of exaggeration
    • Line break – deliberate placement of words/phrase in a poem

Step 3:  Improving your poem

  • MOVE words, lines, or phrases around
  • CUT THE FAT!  Remove any unnecessary words
  • Choose the JUST RIGHT words
  • Read your poem OUT LOUD

Step 4:  Final revisions

  • Ideas:  Do I use sensory details?  Does my poem convey my true thoughts and feelings?
  • Organization:  Are my ideas in the best order? Do my line breaks and indents help the poem make sense?
  • Voice: Does my poem show my personality?
  • Word Choice:  Do I use creative poetic techniques like onomatopoeia, personification, and line breaks?
  • Sentence Fluency:  Does the rhythm of my poem fit my topic?

Step 5:  Read aloud again, again, and again



Poetry Portfolio Due Dates

due dates

Essential questions:
What causes change?
How do people react to change?

Due Dates:
May 2-6th :8 poems finished; draft of SLAM poem
May 9th: AR project due
May 17th: Poetry Portfolio due
May 18-20:  SLAM poems performed

Requirements of poetry portfolio:

A. Number of poems

4 poem on changemaker
4 poems about self
1 SLAM poem

B. Timeline of changemaker

C. Analysis of each poem:  What was the poetic form you chose to write about? Why did you choose that poetic form? What emotion were you aiming for in your poem? How did you get to your intended emotion through the word choice?  Why did you choose the words you did? Finally, set the context of the poem (what are you writing about?).

Samples of poetry portfolios from previous years:

claire03pd2020 change portfolio




Poetry Form: Sonnet

A sonnet is similar to a ballad because both are made up of quatrains. A sonnet, however, has some important differences. Here are the rules for a sonnet:

1) A sonnet has 14 lines and each line has ten syllables.
2) Sonnets have four stanzas. The first three stanzas are quatrains (4 lines) and the last stanza is a couplet (2 lines).
3) A sonnet’s rhyme scheme is ABAB CDCD EFEF GG (Notice that the rhymes are not repeated.)

Find out more about sonnets here or here.

Shall I come thee


The World in White Spectacle

A winding shroud of snow wraps field and tree,
So silent, still, like birds in gliding flight
Whose shadows cast with icy wings on sea
And land, spread restful peace of winter’s night.

When crystal droplets hang from branches bare
To catch the strands of moonlight soft and low
As if to mourn the fall of seasons fair,
Old Winter hides sweet grass and buds in snow.

Yet frozen death is birth in white disguise
As hilltops shine so bright in moonlight pale;
The world is made anew before my eyes;
Oh see the snow so smooth like tall ship’s sails.

And as the birds alight on powdered bough;
The feel of winter’s peace, a calmness now.

Poetry Form: Ballads

The Old Balladers


The New BalladersMaroon 5-2

Ballads are poems that tell a story. They are considered to be a form of narrative poetry. Starting in Medieval Europe, ballads were passed down orally and contained religious, political, tragic and love themes. Most often ballads were accompanied by musical instruments, such as the lute and recorder . The Rime of the Ancient Mariner by Samuel Taylor Coleridge is probably one of the most famous ballads.  Ballads are often turned in songs and have a musical quality to them.  Listen to your favorite songs. They are probably ballads that tell a story of love, love lost, or may even have a political or social message.

Ballads and sonnets (the other poetry form we will study later) are made up of quatrains (a stanza with or a poem of four lines).  Quatrains usually have a particular rhyme scheme such as AABBABABABCBAAAAAABAABBA. This rhyme scheme should be consistent throughout the poem.

Example of a quatrain:

An example of an ABAB rhyme scheme can be found in the first quatrain of Shakespeare’s Sonnet 18:

Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?A
Thou art more lovely and more temperate:B
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,A
And summer’s lease hath all too short a dateB

We will read the ballad The Cremation of Sam McGee by Robert Service so you can see how lyrical (musical) ballads can be or you can listen to the dramatic (and scary) reading of it here:


Ballad Sample #1

Ballad Sample #2

Personal Change Ballad

Screen shot 2013-03-27 at 3.35.57 PM

Having trouble finding words that rhyme? Use this site to help you with your rhymes for your ballads, sonnets, and other poems.

Screen Shot 2014-04-21 at 1.07.14 PM

Or try Word Hippo. It might help you as you look for words, definitions, synonyms, rhymes, etc. GREAT SITE.

Work for Friday, March 18

Hey Guys,

Sorry I’m not with you today.  I have a bit of an emergency with my mom.  Please do the following work.  Be good and see you soon.

  1. No Red Ink Practice (15 minutes).  You can work on any of the grammar points.
  2. Journaling (on a Word or Pages document that they should email to me): Write a newspaper article about Kwame Alexander’s visit to SAS, including his presentation in the PAC on Monday and to the 7th grade on Tuesday. Make sure you use a variety of sentence beginnings (use the following handout:  Beginning Sentences in Different Ways) and a variety of types of sentences (simple, compound, complex).
  3. Quiz Question Creation, if you have time (focus on the newspaper article. Make it good!): Make Kahoot sentences about the human body using the science textbook, pp 12-18 (the green books which are in the middle of the table). Email your fantastic questions to me.

Ms. Bradshaw

Work for Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Hey Guys,

I won’t be in class today as I am attending a Project-Based Learning Workshop.  Mrs. Crosetto will be with you during my absence.  Here is what you need to get done today:

  1. No Red Ink Practice
  2. Prepare for your Humanities on-demand writing assessment (this Friday). See below.
  3. Revise/review math and science SLC reflections #1.   You have completed your first round of reflections in your math and science classes.  Review what you have written, making sure what you have written is clear and thorough. Check that you have complete sentences, proper punctuation, correct spelling, and different sentence beginnings.  Also, you probably should have some transition words in there as well.

Humanities On-demand Writing Assessment

Your humanities teachers are VERY kind as they are giving you the prompt beforehand for the on-demand assessment that you will take on Friday. MAKE SURE YOU PREPARE by following these guidelines laid out by Mr. Robinson (thanks, Mr. Robinson!).  This is just a guide. Ms. DeGreef’s students, you should follow the second set of instructions. Follow the instructions of your respective teacher.  Email your outline to me by the end of this class.

In what ways does society affect your identity?

From Mr. Robinson

Friday you will be writing an essay to answer this big question. This is the whole reason we did this unit! To help us prepare, let’s break this question down and see how to set up our essay.


“In what ways…”

First of all, this lets us know that we are looking for multiple ways. Keep this in mind as you brainstorm and prep today.

“…does society…”

We need to define our society. When we think back to the definition of society, we know that society is a group of people. So, when you write, make it known who your society is.

To prepare today, actually write out and explain what you are talking about as your society.

I see two ways to define society that works for the essay. First, you can take a big picture view. In this approach, you’re looking at society at large. Do the values of your society force you to act or think a certain way? How do the cultural universals affect you? One example of this approach is that many of you moved to China for economic reasons – a parent’s jobs.

The other way to approach this is to think back to your society groups. How did working with this group affect you? You’ll need to be specific about the culture you established, the processes and traditions you developed. An example of this might be that you developed leadership skills because  you had to step up as a leader in your group.

When you are thinking about your essay, choose one view (big picture or small picture) and stick with it.


Ah, the important verb! “Affect” implies that there is some change. Things were one way, but then they got all “affected” and now they are some other way. In the two examples above, you can see this. In the big picture example, you used to live in one place, but now you live in China. In the small picture example, you used to not be a leader, but now you know how to be a leader.

“…your identity?”

This is all about you. This is about who you fundamentally are as a person – the way you think and the way you act. In order to get to the heart of your identity, you will need to keep these meaningful. Don’t settle for things like “In my society group I had to be on Skype at 7 pm.” Does that really make a difference in who you are as a person? Instead, think about meaningful things like how living in China changes your view of the world or how leadership skills give you confidence and help you in the long run.


All of this information should be familiar to you. You have learned it many times throughout your academic career. You just used this basic format two weeks ago for your Lord of the Flies essay, too.


Your introduction is there for a few reasons. First, it grabs the readers attention. Start off general at the beginning of the thesis. Slowly, we will start to get more specific.

The introduction gets more specific by providing background. For this essay, you will need to define your society (see above) and give any relevant background information I need to know.

Finally,the introduction included your thesis. The thesis is the entire point of your essay, summed up in one sentence. Your thesis is based on the question. An example might be “Society has affected my identity in many ways.”

Main Points

You need to provide three main ways that society has affected your identity. For each of these main points, make sure you give evidence and explain. Remember PEE (Point, Evidence, Explanation).

The examples I gave above are examples of ONE main point. How many do you need? Three is the magic number!


The conclusion wraps it all up. To write your conclusion, restate your thesis, review your main points, and wrap it all up!

From Ms. DeGreef

– In your notebook, brainstorm your ideas by considering the society you want to explore in your essay (Shanghai, China, your family, SAS, your basketball team…..)                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               -Next, think of the cultural universals. Will you be exploring several universals (government, economics, values/religion, history, food, entertainment…) or will you focus on one universal?                                                                                                                                                                                     -Now, find the connection between the cultural universal(s) AND your identity. How is your identity shaped and influenced by the cultural universal(s)?                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            -Once you have your ideas, ORGANISE them so that you can begin with an intro, continue with around 3 PEEE paragraphs, and then end with a conclusion.                  –                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     -Remember, ORGANISATION + CONVENTION are standards for this essay.   

Organelle and Cell Structure Summative Preparation

cell:plant diagram

Hey Guys,

You will be having a summative assessment on Wed, Feb. 24/Thurs. Feb. 25th of this week. Use the following information and study aids from your science teachers to study for this assessment:

Study Aids

Quizlet on the organelles

Level of organization of living things

Textbook:  re-read pp. 16-24 of the Cells and Heredity textbook (green cover)

Key vocabulary for this unit:

prokaryotic, eukaryotic, cilia, flagella, protist, algae, protozoan, multicellular, unicellular, germination

Cells  – Prokaryotic, Eukaryotic

Organelles – (key organelles) Cell Membrane, Nucleus, Mitochondria, Cytoplasm (or cytosol), Vacuole

(key organelles only found in plant cells) Cell Wall, Chloroplasts

(other organelles) Endoplasmic Reticulum, Ribosomes, Golgi Body, Lysosomes

Can you draw and label the parts of an animal and plant cell?  Also, can you tell what the function of each organelle is?

Some videos to review

This “Cell Structures” from Brainpop

Screen Shot 2016-02-22 at 9.21.51 AM


And this one from makemegenius: “Animal Cells Structure and Functions”