Honors Notes

1st thing:  Copy down the definition of a limerick and couplet:

Couplet2 lines of end rhyme

Limerick5 line poem with rhyme scheme of AABBA. Originated from England in 18th Century. Traditionally obscene in content. (though we will keep ours clean)

Here are some examples I’ve written… Read them out loud so you hear the rhythm.  I’ve bolded the parts were the bet goes.

There once was a girl from Ladue

Who only wore one shoe

She was warned and told

That her foot would grow cold

But still didn’t have a clue.

Sometimes you can play with the convention to add humor…

There once was a student from Marquette,

Who tried always to be teacher’s pet,

He copied off Jeff

Which earned him an F

And now he’s in deep…trouble

(See what I did there?  I replaced a dirty word that would have rhymed with “trouble.”

Now you write one….remember:

  • Most commonly anapestic pentameter for lines 1, 2 and 5.
  • Lines 3 and 4 are usually shorter and have a different rhythm.

Print it out and we might be able to share when we return to the room next hour.  Keep them school appropriate!

Now copy these to your notes:

Triplet – three line
Quatrain – four line (MOST COMMON)
Quintet – five line

Sestet – six line
Septet – seven line
Octave – eight line

Stanzaic Form—using the structure to help portray the content or tone of the stanza.

We’ll look at hour Kanye West actually does this in a song.

Next order of business:  You have TWO OPTIONS!

1.  You may participate in our class’s poetry slam (details below)


2.  You may write a poetry analysis paper (details also below)

Read these options and hold your questions for when we get back to class.

3.  Both are due on November 14/15 depending when we meet.


Poetry Slam in Room 361

November 13 & 14

This is a chance to express yourself in a safe environment using any poem of your liking. Share poetry that you wrote and share published poetry that someone else wrote. You’ll get at least two minutes to be the star of the class and let them finally hear what you have to say. There will be lots of emotions, expression, laughter, deep thinking, and even a few tears (sometimes I get choked up).

Bottom line:  You’ll read at least one of your poems and at least one published poem (note: a published poem, not some Taylor Swift song lyrics, etc.)

What to do: Decide what you want to share with the class. It must be school appropriate (avoid sexual or drug references). Language guidelines: Our classroom will have the same rules as what is permissible on major networks like NBC, ABC, and CBS (similar to a PG movie). If you’re not sure, ask me ahead of time. If your poem has inappropriate language you may substitute it with the word’s first letter when you recite it out loud.

Once you select your poem(s) you need to practice reciting them over and over so that you’re not stumbling through them on the big day. Of course you might be a little nervous so building confidence is crucial.

Grading: You’ll need to speak for over two minutes combining an introduction to your poem and then the poem itself. Practice timing yourself so that you don’t have to check the clock during your performance. Yes, performance. This isn’t just a reading, but a full-blown performance. Anyone who reads without emotion will lose major points toward their grade.

Scheduling: I will draw names to see who goes when so you’ll need to be ready.

Audience participation: A portion of your grade will be how you handle yourself as an audience member. Sometimes a performance can stir up enough emotion in us to where we may laugh, agree, or gasp out loud. I understand and appreciate that. Poets feed off of the energy of the audience so your role is vital. However, I WILL NOT TOLERATE LAUGHING AT SOMEONE WHO IS SHARING THEIR SOUL. Snickering, scoffing, talking, interrupting, etc. will result in an afterschool detention as well as hurting your grade. Everyone deserves a chance to feel safe sharing their poetry.



CATEGORY 5-4 points 3-2 points 1-0 points
Stage Presence Being ready when called upon; Having a positive attitude towards performance; Taking the stage with enthusiasm and maintaining it for the full time. Hesitant when called upon. Not bringing enthusiasm to your turn. Taking too long to get ready. Resisting your turn. Not being prepared to read. Slowing down slam and killing the vibe with negativity.
Introduction A brief yet effective explanation of who wrote poem, why it was chosen, and what it means to you. Forgetting to mention one of the facts about who, why and what. Forgetting to mention more than one fact about who, why or what for the poem.
Reading/Reciting Reading it so everyone can comfortably hear your voice without strain. Not stumbling on words. Showing you’ve rehearsed and are completely comfortable with the poem. Stumbling on a few words and/or not speaking at a high enough volume. Speaking too softly; showing that you don’t know all of the words in your poem; Long pauses because of unfamiliarity with poem.



Movement while reading; making eye contact occasionally with audience; showing above average emotion. Showing average emotion, making minimal eye contact with audience, very little movement, somewhat dull performance. Showing little to no emotion, standing still like a statue, no eye contact with audience.
Following Guidelines Staying between 2-7 minutes without asking about time or looking at clock. School appropriate language. Audience guidelines are followed completely. Not staying within time requirements, breaking language rule; talking in audience between acts. Talking during acts, not reaching two minutes, being rude, etc.

Poem(s) chosen:_______________________________________________________________



Poetry Analysis Paper

I’ll explain thoroughly in the upcoming Powerpoint. Basically, you’ll find three literary techniques and share two examples of each, or two literary techniques with three examples of each (Or possibly more literary techniques if you need more concrete details). Your paper will have two or three body paragraphs depending on how many technique/examples you find of each in the poem. However, we’re not just pointing these things out in our paper—you need to explain how they contribute to the poem’s overall meaning. For example, you could point out the devices that contribute to the softer tone and how that helps the get poem’s meaning across.


  1. 5 paragraph paper (each of the three body paragraphs has two concrete detail examples)
  2. 4 paragraph paper (each of the two body paragraphs has three concrete details examples)

Your thesis statements will explain how (poet’s name) uses (whatever devices/techniques) to portray/show (whatever the poem’s theme/meaning/purpose is).

Now what?  Decide which you’d rather do.  Some people hate performing, some make it an easy choice over writing a paper.  It’s up to you!  For now, you need to finish your limerick(s) and then start researching which poems you’d like to share or write a paper about.  We’ll head back to the classroom soon.

Google any number of poetry databases and see which poets you like.  Let’s avoid the overly popular ones like “Where the Caged Bird Sings” and other poems we’re all over-familiar with.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s