This lesson (and graphic organizer) was authored by NNWP Teacher Consultant Jamie Priddy.
Looking for a book of interesting graphic organizers for your classroom? We suggest 50 Graphic Organizers for Reading, Writing & More, which is published by Scholastic. It contains creative ideas for many pre-writing tools that can be easily adapted for any grade level you're teaching.
In this lesson, students will be able to define the word stereotype and give examples of how they have been stereotyped. Students will focus on one of these examples in order to write a poem about stereotypes.
Hand out “Just Because” Poem Prewriting Organizer to students. Discuss the word stereotype with students and come up with a definition as a class. Then have students list ways in which they feel they have been stereotyped.
Once students have finished brainstorming, have them share some of their ideas with the class. Students can add more ideas to their list if they hear something that applies to them that they did not already have on their list.
Next, have students pick one way in which they have been stereotyped that they would like to focus on in a poem they will write. Students should then answer the questions on the organizer about this way in which they have been stereotyped.
Tell students that they will be writing a “Just Because” poem using the ideas they just wrote about on their graphic organizer. Show students the example poems so they can see the format of the poem.
Once students understand the format of the poem, have them go back to their Prewriting Organizer in order to add any more ideas they have about their topic that they would like to include in their poem.
Students then should begin writing their poem using select information from the Prewriting Organizer.
When students are finished writing their poems, they can be revised for voice and word choice in partners.