Poetic Fortunes

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Lesson Introduction: 

One of the wonderful things about poetry is its ability to be both specific and generous at the same time. Remarkably, it seems that the more specific a poem becomes --  the more it roots itself in a place, time, or mood--  the more its readers delight in seeing themselves reflected in its lines. This lesson is about finding ways to be specific, and as an added bonus, includes a way to get your students’ writing outside of the four walls of your classroom -- an act of generosity on their part, for sure!

Learning Objectives: 

In this lesson, students will have opportunities to:

  • Read, discuss and respond to a poem.
  • Write a poem of their own.
  • Edit their poem with a peer.
  • Collaborate with classmates on a community poetry project.
  • Get their writing out into the world.
Materials and Resources: 

To teach this lesson, you will need:

  • copies of “Lines for he Fortune Cookies” by Frank O’Hara
  • a fortune cookie for every member of your class
  • paper, pens
  • slips of paper about the size of a bookmark. 
  • a shoe box, or other box that can be turned into a fortune teller
  • materials to decorate the box (markers, glue, paint, etc.)


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Poetry In Voice is a charitable organization that encourages Canadian students to fall in love with poetry through reading, writing, and recitation. All of our resources are available online for free. You may also use our resources if you reside outside of Canada.