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Teaching Part 3 of The Poet X

Updated: Jun 17, 2022

Hello, everyone. We got another puppy and my life went off the rails. Here is the last post about what I did for part 3 of The Poet X, which I am sure will be very helpful to everyone now that the school year is over. Not that I am complaining. This year sucked. This post is a continuation of my earlier posts: The Poet X Opening, The Poet X Part 1, and The Poet X Part 2.

Day 1

Because my timing was so off this year, I didn’t get to finish all of The Poet X before winter break, so I wrapped up part 2 of The Poet X before winter break and then had to restart the book when we returned. I knew we would have to do a thorough review before moving forward so I dragged the kids through this Nearpod. (These are the original Google slides so that you can copy & edit).

Day 2

“Silent World” to “Can’t Tell Me Nothing”

Today I started by asking kids to recall what we did last class and to review some of the characters and plot twists in their mind, and then we started listening to part three of The Poet X. I played them a BUNCH of pages (at least 30), and at the time, I was concerned that it was too much, but it was fine. We listened to “Silent World” to “Can’t Tell Me Nothing” and then completed this visual collage where students had to identify five important moments for the day’s reading, choose images to represent them, and then label them. After I gave them the directions, some kids got it and then others needed a template so I made them this.

Day 3

"Isabelle” through "The Mic is Open"

For today’s opening/icebreaker, my co-teacher and I asked the kids to put the name of a club they are part of or that they would like to join in the chat. The prompt specifically was: “What clubs are you a part of at school, and if you are not part of a club, what club do you wish we had at school?”

We asked them this because in Part 3, Xiomara finally decides to attend poetry club, where she meets some new characters. I used these slides to briefly introduce the characters to my students.

We then listened to pages "Isabelle" through "The Mic is Open" (255-280 in the book).

For the post-reading activity, I asked kids to complete a journal on Canvas. This was the prompt I used:

Choose 1 and respond in at least 100-150 words:

  • What is something that you would like to do or try? What is preventing you from doing it? How does this connect to Xiomara?

  • What is something that you waited a long time to try/do and then actually accomplished? How did it feel? How does this connect to Xiomara?

Day 4

“Invitation”- “The Waiting Game”

Today we started with “Character Bingo” to review the characters thus far. If I was on top of my game (which I am not), I would have made the Bingo chart for the kids (but I didn’t). This year, I gave the kids the list of characters in The Poet X, told them to sloppily draw a 5 x 5 grid on a sheet of scrap paper, and fill the character names in the blanks. After about 35 minutes, everyone was ready to go.

To play, I would describe a character from the book, and then the kids would have to cross off the name of the character that they thought I was referring to. Whomever got Bingo first had to read out their answers so that we could check and review. The winner got bonus points on the next quiz. I would post notes for you to use, but I must have done this all off the top of my head because I have no other notes on my unit plan other than “play character bingo.” I guess I was having a tired week.

After character Bingo, we listened to “Invitation” - “The Waiting Game”

-Once we listened to the section, I asked the kids to write their own concrete poem about something that makes them very happy. Here were the directions:

  • Get a sheet of scrap paper

  • Create a concrete poem about something that makes you happy. The poem should be about why the thing makes you happy.

  • Take a picture of your concrete poem and submit it to Canvas.

When they didn’t respond, I quickly drew a poem about dogs in the shape of a “dog” and held it up to the camera. Even though the kids wanted to pretend they hadn’t heard me assign this, they completed it and I got some of my favorite responses of the year.

Day 5

“The Good”- “My Mother Tries to Grab Me”

To start today’s lesson, I had the students write about a what a good day at school looks like. I gave them 10 minutes to write and submit to Canvas. They did not have to worry about punctuation or anything else.

In the next section of The Poet X, Xiomara is feeling good, and as a reader, you just feel that something bad is about to happen. I wanted to tune the kids into this, so before we started reading, I asked them to predict what might go wrong. I created a brief Google form, and had kids make a prediction.

Once everyone submitted on the Google form, I played the next set of pages: “The Good”- “My Mother Tries to Grab Me”

At the end of the section, Xiomara leaves home. I stopped the audiobook here and asked the kids to fill in another Google Form about where they think Xiomara went after she left home.

It wasn’t my best lesson but it got me through the day and the predictions helped to create some curiosity in the kids.

Day 6

"Returning" to "What I Say to Ms. Galiano"

To connect to the end of last class’s lesson, I started off by having the kids complete a journal about leaving home. Here was the prompt:

Journal: If you decided to leave your house after a big