Notebook strategies to help generate and revise poems

Many teachers launch poetry units in April to honor National Poetry Month, so here are five notebook strategies that can support your poetry unit. As you read through them, you’ll find that these also fit or could be adapted to other units of study.

In fact, it’s not a bad idea to teach the same notebook strategy in multiple units of study—that demonstrates how valuable the strategy is in the “real world,” perhaps working across genres, subject matter, audiences, purposes, etc.

Keep in mind that writing is not a linear process, so activities like brainstorming, list-making and writing “discovery drafts” (Lucy Calkins’ term) can be useful in collecting ideas, nurturing them and revising them, too. When applicable, I’ve given ideas for how each strategy can help in different stages of the writing cycle.

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