Writing An Historical Poem

Learning Objectives

  • Students will compile data based upon field research
  • Students will compose poetical works based upon historical ideas
  • Students will write a poem, using a historical figure's perspective in order to better understand the time period


Teaching Stratedgies

  • Students should make sure that their scavenger hunts are completed as fully as possible. They may compare notes with other students in their group, use print resources from the media center, or access the internet in order to complete their scavenger hunts.
  • Students should then pick one particular person from the history of the historical site. Even if there is a person of particular historical significance, they may pick someone else. You may wish to encourage students to pick a non-traditional person for this assignment.
  • Students will write a historical poem from the perspective of their chosen historical figure.
  • Have students pick a number of important details concerning the historical figure, particularly in relationship to the historical site.
  • Students should make a list of these important details and place a check next to any of these details that their chosen historical figure would have known.
  • Have students write a 10-15-line poem from the perspective of the chosen historical figure. Make sure that they use details from the list they compiled.
  • Have students revise the poem before they present it. Make sure that students pay particular attention to various style points, such as using descriptive, active verbs (i.e. slouch instead of sit), using a single consistent perspective, and showing details to the reader (as opposed to telling details).
  • If time permits, have students share their poem with a partner for a critique. Have the students critique the books based upon the style points above. Additionally, have students critique the poem based on how accurate the other students feel the historical figure's perspective is.
  • Again, if time permits, have students read their poems to the class. Encourage supportive comments about each poem in order improve the writing and the writing process.


Standards From MCREL Standards

Standard 3:Historical Understanding Standards

  • Understands and knows how to analyze chronological relationships and patterns
  • Understands the historical process


Standard 7: Writing and Reading

  • Uses the general skills and strategies of the writing process
  • Uses the stylistic and rhetorical aspects of writing
  • Uses the grammatical and mechanical conventions in writing manuscript
  • Gathers and uses information for research purposes
  • Uses the general skills and strategies of the writing process