Using the Four-Square Strategy to Define and Identify Poetic Terms

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Lesson Introduction: 

Poetry can seem intimidating to many students, but the four-square graphic organizer strategy gives students a tool they can use to explore and analyze any poem. In this lesson, students will learn the definitions of alliteration, assonance, simile, and rhyme. Using these definitions and a graphic organizer, they will search through a variety of poems for examples of each poetic element. Finally, students will use what they’ve learned to perform an in-depth reading of Mary Oliver’s poem “The Esquimos Have No Word For ‘War’”.

Learning Objectives: 

In this lesson, students will have opportunities to:

  • Use a four-square graphic organizer as a strategy for defining, organizing, and identifying poetic terms.
  • Define alliteration, assonance, simile, and rhyme.
  • Identify and explore the use of these four poetic terms in a variety of poetry selections.
  • Evaluate the poem “The Esquimos Have No Word for ‘War’” for use of the four poetic terms.
Materials and Resources: 

To teach this lesson, you will need:

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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.