- Arts & Humanities
Students research, design, and create a school-year calendar based on
the work of famous poets.
- research print and online resources to learn about five famous poets born in a particular month;
- read 1-2 poems by each of the five poets;
- create a school-year calendar based on the work of famous poets.
- work together to choose a cover design for the calendar.
Poet, month, calendar, season
- Wall calendar for display and demonstration (optional)
- Student access to computer(s) with Internet access
- Web sites for research: The Writer's Almanac (Scroll to bottom and choose each week of the assigned month from the drop down menu under Archive); Books and Writers (Choose a month from the list of numbers on the left, and then click each writer's name on the far right to locate poets with birthdays that month).
Begin this lesson by displaying a typical wall calendar with a picture on one page and a monthly grid on the facing page. If you don't have a calendar available, go to Calendars.com and find an appropriate calendar -- one with a Disney or animal theme, for example. (Click any calendar and then click the link for other views. Choose the Back Cover view to show students a page with both a picture and a month on it).
Explain to students that they are going to create a calendar with the theme "Famous Poets."
This lesson will take 4-5 class periods to complete, based on the schedule below.
- Arrange students into pairs or small groups and assign a month to each pair or group. Have each student find the names of five poets who were born in his or her group's assigned month, and record on a piece of paper, each poet's birthday and the titles of 1-2 poems by that poet. (Students should read the poems as well.) Also have students record the URL of the Web site or the reference information for the book where they found the information. (1-2 class periods)
- Ask students to share with their groups the information they find, eliminating duplicate poets. The goal is to end up with 8-12 unique birthdays per group. Then invite each student to read to the group his or her favorite poem. After listening to the poems, each group should to decide which poet and what image to feature for the month. Explain that the image can be an original photo, an online photo, an original drawing, a clip-art collage, and so on, but that the goal of the design should be to represent both the month (in terms of seasons, holidays, and so on.) and the month's poets or their poems. To ensure that students think carefully and creatively about the assignment, require teacher approval of the final design. (1-2 class periods)
- Have students download the correct month from Education World Calendar Templates and open the template in Microsoft Word. One student can type into the template the dates of the month (for the next school year) and the names of the poets on their birthdates (changing the font, background, border, and more, if desired). Another student can create the graphic, using whatever software or art resources he or she chooses. The student then deletes the image at the top of the calendar template and inserts the new illustration. If the calendar is not created on the computer, students can print the calendar page and pastes the illustration into the template. (1-2 class periods)
- Display all completed months for the entire class to see. Ask students to look at the birthdays in each month as well as the large graphic, and then invite them to vote for their favorite design. Combine all the months into a single calendar; use the graphic that gets the most votes for the front cover.
Don't forget to display the calendar for next year's students as well. You might want to print a second calendar for students to take to their next homeroom teacher.
Students are assessed on their:
- Application of poetic and seasonal themes as shown in the illustration.
- Inclusion of 8-12 poet birthdays in a clean and effective design on the monthly grid.
- group skills as observed in class.
- time management skills as evidenced by timely completion of each step.
Lesson Plan Source
FINE ARTS: Visual Arts
GRADES K - 4
NA-VA.K-4.1 Understanding and Applying Media, Techniques, and Processes
NA-VA.K-4.6 Making Connections Between Visual Arts and Other Disciplines
GRADES 5 - 8
NA-VA.5-8.1 Understanding and Applying Media, Techniques, and Processes
NA-VA.5-8.6 Making Connections Between Visual Arts and Other Disciplines
GRADES 9 - 12
NA-VA.9-12.1 Understanding and Applying Media, Techniques, and Processes
NA-VA.9-12.6 Making Connections Between Visual Arts and Other Disciplines
LANGUAGE ARTS: English
GRADES K - 12
NL-ENG.K-12.1 Reading for Perspective
NL-ENG.K-12.2 Reading for Understanding
NL-ENG.K-12.4 Communication Skills
NL-ENG.K-12.12 Applying Language Skills