Lesson Plans

Innovative lessons/ideas for teaching creative writing, as well as samples of student writing resulting from the lesson. See complete submission guidelines here.

PS 188 Kingsbury School/T&W: Partnership Program Snapshot

T&W teaching artist Amina Henry conducted a 20-session poetry residency at PS 188, the Kingsbury School, in Bayside, Queens with third- and fourth-grade gifted and talented classes. Kirsten Chen, who was a T&W editorial associate in 2016–2017, had an email conversation with one of Henry’s classroom teacher partners, Jessica Wingfield, about the program’s impact.  Teachers…

Language and War: A Unit Plan for English Class

by Tim Myers Editors note: This article was originally published in Teachers & Writers Magazine 1997. Can adolescents learn anything profound about the intricate and powerful relationship between language and war? In a century haunted by phrases such as “acceptable losses” and “mutually assured destruction,” can we as teachers help guide our students to some…

Avoiding Plagiarism: The Melania Trump Speech

By Erika Luckert This lesson from T&W teaching artist Erika Luckert helps students understand the importance of acknowledging and citing sources, and gives them an opportunity to practice revising to avoid plagiarism. Grade(s): 9–12 Genre: Nonfiction, Essay Download: Avoiding Plagiarism: The Melania Trump Speech  Common Core Standards (Refer to ELA Standards > Writing > Grade…

Earth Day Delicious Details

Matthew Burgess, poet, educator, and long-time T&W poet-in-residence, teaches young students about imaginative description in this lesson on poetry. Students engage in group writing, independent writing, and physical movement, all of which encourage them to be imaginative and detailed in their writing.  Grade(s) taught: 1st Genre(s) taught: Poetry Download: Earth Day Delicious Details   Common Core…

Rain Can Be Anything: Kindergarten Poetry Lesson

In Linda Morel’s lesson, students are encouraged to stretch their imaginations by realizing that poetry about rain doesn’t have to be confined to drops that fall from the sky. The goal is to encourage students to broaden their perspective. Early childhood students are often very literal. In this lesson, students are encouraged to see outside…

The Poetic Rant

We all need a good rant now and again–why not use it in the classroom? In Linda Morel’s lesson plan, students pick something they strongly oppose and write a rant expounding on what is wrong with it.

Sounds and Silences: Line Breaks

In Noemi Martinez Cress’ lesson plan, “Sounds and Silence,” she teaches students how to organize their poem into lines. After the previous lesson, during which students started to write their first short poems (usually in large block, like paragraph or prose), “The Poem (As the Cat)” by Williams Carlos Williams is used as a model to…

The Art Poem

In this lesson from T&W teaching artist Amina Henry, students explore the relationship between visual art and poetry. Using the poetry of William Carlos Williams as a model, students explore imagery and use it as a starting point to write their own poems about art.  Grade(s) taught: 3rd, 4th, and 5th  Genre(s) taught: Poetry, creative…

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