The Writing Process


         Writing poetry is still writing, and for it to be done well, the Writing Process should still be used.


The writing process, in a nutshell, is this:


Prewriting: Assessing prior knowledge, brainstorming, note taking, research, clustering, and word gathering.


Students should be given an instruction sheet explaining the type of poem the student is expected to write and the requirements. Models of the writing can also be shown at this time.

When writing poetry, the students must first access prior knowledge. The teacher may show slides, read stories, play music or do anything to get students to access their experiences dealing with the period of history being studied.

When no prior knowledge is present, the students must gather it. Students can do research by using the internet, textbook, videos or other sources in which to gather information.


         Writing: Creating the rough draft or “messy copy.”


Students should write the first draft according the instructions. Some teachers prefer the writing to be done silently for a specific time period. Other permit the students to help each other by sharing ideas while they write the first copy. Some teachers assign this part of the assignment as homework. Each way can be successful as long as the final outcome is a rough draft.


         Sharing: Sharing and consulting with others.


Student should next be given time to share their work with others. This can be done by exchanging papers, discussing, marking suggestions on the page, or even group readings. The students should be given advice as to how to make their poems better.


Revising: Writing new drafts of the work taking into account new suggestions.


Using their peer’s suggestions, the student should revise their poetry to make the poem better. They should create new stanzas, add new or more effective words and discard anything that does not work. The student should decide what changes to make—or not make.


Editing: Correcting the latest draft for any grammatical or spelling errors.


Students should be given the opportunity to edit their grammar and spelling after the final draft is completed. No poem should be submitted with errors. This is the only work that should be graded.


Publishing: Showing off the final copy. Sharing the work with others.


Publishing is showing off the students’ poetry to the public. Many teachers display the work around the class, show it off during open house, create class books or publish web pages. Poetry slams are another good way for students to share their work