Bio Poems Made Easy is a free download available on Teachers Pay Teachers. The 10-page packet provides a lesson plan, handouts, and suggestions for ways to extend the activity. In the introductory material, a “bio poem” is explained as a poem written about a person. These poems can be autobiographical, as they are in the initial lesson, or biographical. The activity also includes a component that uses Wordle.net, a free website that takes inputted text and converts it to an interesting, colorful word graphic.
Poetry can be an intimidating subject for students, especially those who are just learning about this type of creative writing. The lesson breaks down the simple poem into easy-to-grasp steps. The packet includes a lesson plan and all the necessary materials, including planning charts that can be photocopied and distributed and a template that would be useful for younger writers. After students grasp the concept of the poem structure, possible extension for the activity are to have students write a bio poem about someone else – a classmate or friend, family member, or historical figure.
The technology piece, using Wordle.net, is an interesting addition to the lesson and one that students, especially older students, might really appreciate. Because the Wordle algorithm places visual emphasis on words that are repeated more often, students who use this part of the lesson will develop their understanding of the importance of word choice and placement in their poems. The packet includes a helpful note to teachers about potentially inappropriate material on the Wordle.net main page and offers a direct link to the (safe) creation page, bypassing the potential content that isn’t appropriate for students to see.
All in all, this activity is a fun, easy-to-understand way to introduce students to a new type of creative poetry in a way that is relevant to a broad age range and has applications across a curriculum.
You can download your own copy of Bio Poems Made Easy here.
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