Lesson plan

Poetry, Prose, and Drama, Oh My!

Nourish your child's inner writer with this lesson on three different forms of literature: poetry, prose, and drama. After going through some examples of each, students will demonstrate their knowledge by filling out bubble maps.
Grade Subject View aligned standards

Students will be able to explain major differences between poems, prose, and drama.

(10 minutes)
  • Tell the students that authors use various methods to create what they want to write. Today they're going to learn about different genres of literature: prose, poems, and drama.
  • Write the definitions for each on the chart paper. Poems are written in lines and stanzas instead of sentences and paragraphs. Prose is made up of sentences and paragraphs without any metrical (or rhyming) structure. Drama is a piece of writing that tells a story; it is performed on a stage and uses dialogue.
(10 minutes)
  • Tell the students that we are going to examine three examples and determine which category each piece should be placed in.
  • Pass out three index cards to each student. Students should write the word the "prose" on the front of a card, then write the definition on the back. Have them do the same for the next two genres.
  • Pass out copies of the Bubble Story Organizer and The Road Not Taken worksheets.
  • Have the students read the poem as a class, then turn and talk about the structure of the poem that they notice (e.g. how some of the words rhyme, how there is no use of punctuation, etc.).
  • Discuss their findings as a class. Have them write "Poems" in the middle of their graphic organizers. Have them write the structures that were discussed in the outer bubbles.
(20 minutes)
  • Distribute the Biography of Anne Frank and Learning Genres: Drama and Theater worksheets.
  • Have the students go over the worksheets and talk with each other about prose and drama.
  • Have them plot the elements of the genres on additional graphic organizers.
  • They should compare notes then reconvene as a class.
  • Write their discoveries on the board under the correct headings.
  • Explain that unlike poems, prose uses complete sentences and punctuation. Drama includes stage direction and colons after the characters names to indicate dialogue as opposed to quotation marks used in prose.
(10 minutes)
  • Give students several other examples of the three different genres.
  • They must indicate each passage's genre and explain their reasoning.
  • Enrichment: Advanced students can be asked to find similarities among the genres, e.g. common themes and the inclusion of characters.
  • Support: These students can be given more time and additional examples to determine the differences of the genres.

An interactive whiteboard may be used to chart the aspects of the various genres.

(5 minutes)
  • Show students other examples of the different genres.
  • Check for understanding by asking them to raise the correct index card to indicate each genre.
(5 minutes)
  • Have each student write a paragraph explaining, in his own words, the ways in which one can determine the differences between the genres.

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