Visual Arts: The Art of Poetry

Lesson Plan: The Art of Poetry
Grade level: 8-12
Duration: 4-5 class periods
Media Type: any / various
Subject Integration: Language Arts
National Standards for Visual Arts: (see bottom of page)
Objectives: To create an original artwork to accompany a poem/song/short story.

(website for help with writing rubrics)


4 - Standards are exceeded
3 - Standards are met
2 - Standards may be met at a very low quality or with some exceptions
1 - Standards are not met

Vocabulary (elements/principles):

  • color
  • shape
  • line
  • texture
  • balance
  • unity
  • proportion
  • form
  • value
  • space
  • contrast
  • emphasis
  • movement
  • pattern
  • rhythm

Materials and Procedure:

Day 1:
Present lesson on the Art of Poetry. Show students various illustrated poems. “What do you see?” “What do you notice?” “Which poem speaks to you?” “What does this poem remind you of?”

Show PlayList video and introduce local poet, Rocky Makes Room For Them. (5:14)

Continue discussion about poetry. “What did you think of Rocky’s poetry?” What did you notice about the way he illustrated his poetry?” “What are some ideas of how you could/would illustrate a poem?”

Continue showing other PlayList videos of local poets: Discuss their role in local poetry/writing/collaboration/public venues/reading,etc. “Would you like to read your poem to an audience? Why or why not?” Discuss school-wide poetry slam (the possibility of holding one in your school or past poetry slams that have been held in school or in community). (6:10) (6:48) (3:47) (8:31) (1:11)

Day 2-3:
Students start poetry/illustration assignment. Students write their own poem, choose a poem from a book, song lyrics, etc. Students create a rough draft/list of ideas for their artwork.

Review types of poems: acrostic, cinquain, limerick, haiku, etc.

Day 3-5:
Students illustrate poem in various ways: painting, drawing, printing images from computer, etc. Students use two or more mediums to illustrate their poem: tempera paint, markers, watercolor, etc.



National Standards for Visual Arts:

VA:Cr1.1.8a: Document early stages of the creative process visually and/or verbally in traditional or new media.
VA:Cr2.1.8a: Demonstrate willingness to experiment, innovate, and take risks to pursue ideas, forms, and meanings that emerge in the process of artmaking or designing.
VA:Cr3.1.8a: Apply relevant criteria to examine, reflect on, and plan revisions for a work of art or design in progress.
VA:Re.7.1.8a: Explain how a person’s aesthetic choices are influenced by culture and environment and impact the visual image that one conveys to others.
VA:Re.7.2.8a: Compare and contrast contexts and media in which viewers encounter images that influence ideas, emotions, and actions.

Sample National Visual Arts Standards link:

Learning Targets for ELL, grade 8:

I can identify and interpret figurative language in a poem.
I can read and understand a poem, and explain what it means in my own words.
I can identify and make use of poetic devices while reading and writing poetry (form/structure, poetic language).

Funding for this program is provided by the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund. Click here for more information or visit the Minnesota Legacy website.

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