9/1-4 Short Assignments Workshop & Poetry Mentor Texts

In Class…

During our workshop weeks, we’ll do one Quickwrite in our writer’s notebooks each day using a variety of prompts.

Then we’ll average critiquing about 8 pieces– 5-6 minutes per piece.

In the Background…

I will ask you to do some work preparing for our next unit. Usually, this means I ask you to find 3-5 mentor texts, paste them in your writer’s notebook and annotate them with some specific intentions.

A mentor text is a text you read and study for the purpose of learning how to write more effectively.

Our next unit is poetry. For that unit, I’d like you to find 3-5 mentor poems from current, contemporary journals. This guideline means that old standbys and classic favorites are not appropriate. Instead, these should be new poems, poems you haven’t encountered before, poems that you fall in love with for the first time and want to figure out why you fell in love, and how you can make other people fall in love with your poems.

Once you find your poems…

  • Print them and paste them into your writer’s notebook.
  • Annotate them by pointing out specific lines, phrases, literary tools or elements of craft that you admire in the poem. You can see an example below.
  • Try at least one erasure or imitation of one of the poems you love to get close to them (instructions on this coming soon).
  • Show me the annotated poems on MONDAY of our writing week. These are basically your “ticket to write” — they tell me you have begun thinking about issues of HOW to write and begun noticing what makes a particular piece of writing worthwhile. During our writing week, I’ll also provide mini lessons on various basic elements of craft.
Sample annotation of a poem in your writing notebook

I’m providing you some links to journals and lists of journals (linked at the top of the blog under “Journals”). It’s not exhaustive, but it is a list of journals that are reputable and reliable. You may NOT use Google.  I don’t want light verse or children’s poetry for this particular assignment–not that those things don’t have their place.

READER BEWARE: The issues of magazines change constantly, and these are professional journals–so the chances that you will happen upon some artwork that may/may not be school “appropriate” is high. If you need a “vetted” list, please let me know.


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