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Lesson Plan

How Do YOU Wokka-Wokka?
An Experience as Nonsense Poets


The broad and overarching goal of this lesson is to enable the participating 2nd graders to think of themselves as poets and giving the agency and confidence to be creative and bold in their poetry writing. Some specific goals include:
–    recognizing the base words from the nonsense words in the book
–    recognizing various rhyme patterns
–    realizing that you can make words rhyme by changing their endings, even if the word ends up being a nonsensical one
–    successfully engaging in group work to produce an original work of poetry
–    learning what it means to be supportive a fellow poets work as well as providing helpful comments so that they can better their work


This lesson will help to meet the current standards that this 2nd grade class is currently working on:
–    recognizing various base words and their suffix endings while separating the two
–    classroom reading theme of character traits when they create their own character and their descriptive qualities in their original Wokka-Wokka poems.
–    Learning different forms of writing: poetry


–    How Do You Wokka-Wokka?
–    Index Cards of four different colors: (pink, blue, green and yellow)
–    Pencils
–    Pre-made worksheets with a box for illustrations on top and lines for writing on the bottom

Classroom arrangement and management issues:

Because of my role within the classroom and the limited amount of time that I am able to spend at FACTS on a weekly basis, I will not be able to do this lesson plan with the whole class. Instead I plan on doing it with two smaller groups of sic students whom I have been meeting with for guided reading weekly. Because I will be doing this lesson plan during reading/writing “choice” time, the audio level is bit of a concern. In terms of space, because most of the children not in my group will be working at their tables, I am sure I will be able to take my group to the rug space that is in the front of the classroom. Instructor will hand out materials as needed to the poets.


1.The Hook: While showing the class the cover of the book and reading the title, How Do You Wokka-Wokka?, I will ask the poets which words they find unfamiliar. Assuming they say ‘Wokka-Wokka’, because all the other words are ones everyone in the class already recognizes, I will then pose the questions “what do you think ‘Wokka-Wokka’ means?” Hopefully they will use pictures cues or base their predictions on how the word sounds.
2. Body of the Lesson:
1) With their predictions in mind, I will go into reading the story, preempting them to listen carefully for words that they don’t recognize.
2) After the story is read out loud all the way through, I will ask the students what they now think Wokka-Wokka means since they have now heard the entire story.
3) The meaning of Wokka-Wokka can actually be up for interpretation by the students. As long as they get the idea that it is describing a type of movement, similar to walking (running, dancing, or just moving along in general), they should be able to successfully interpret the other unfamiliar words of the book.
4) As a whole group we will pull out several other unfamiliar words which we will label as “nonsense” words and attempt to make “sense” of them using prior knowledge of base words.
5) After we have deciphered several nonsense words, I will ask the students what part of the word they see is different from the “real” word they are representing. After they have recognized the nonsense suffixes, I will then ask the students why they think the author switched the endings.
6) If they have trouble with this, I will reread a section of the book, heavily emphasizing the rhyming so that they will be able to hear how the endings of these nonsense words rhyme.
7) While I will try and have our poets thinking about rhyme, I will ask them to move them to the back part of their brains to hold on to for later. I will then pose the central question of the lesson: How do YOU wokka-wokka?
8) I will then hand out four index cards to each students, each index card a different color. I will then ask the students to brainstorm about an object. I will pose various categories that they could explore, such as animals, the weather, etc. The one requirement is that they encompass some sort of movement. They will write down their on the pink index card their object.
9) While asking the poets to picture their object in their minds, I will ask them to pick a describing characteristic to write on their blue card.
10) We will then think about what our object sounds like. It can be how they speak, or sounds that are associated with them, or a sound they make when interacting with another object. They will then write down the sound of their object on the green card.
11) The final card, the yellow card will ne the crux of the question how do YOU wokka-wokka? I will ask the poets to think about how their object moves and then write down that particular movement on their fourth card.
12) After all the poets have their cards organized with their ideas written on them, I will ask them to get into pairs to help each other construct their very own wokka-wokka poem. If the students get confused with the structuring and the wording that they should use, I will open up the wokka-wokka book to a page that has a good example and have the students refer back to the book for help.
13) With premade sheets that has a top section for illustration and lines for the poem under it, the students will write out their poems. After I have read over their poems privately I will okay the next step for illustrations.
14) The final step of the lesson plan will be performances of the wokka wokka poems. Each student will have their chance in front of their group to read their poems out loud with interpretative motions if they wish.

Assessment of goals/objectives listed above:

Assessing the first goal of enabling students to feel confident in their poetry and their own creative energy will probably be the hardest to do. Perhaps the assessment of this goal is best done over time but I also believe immediate signs of confidence would be in their presentations and how they share their work with one another. In terms of recognizing base words, patterns of rhyming and how to manipulate the suffix of words, the students’ final product will be the basis of assessment. However I will also take into account how students individually participate in the group setting. But because I know that there are a few shy students in my groups, I will pay close attention to how they work on their individual poems to see if they have understood the themes and concepts that were introduced. While the students work in groups, I will visit each one, observing from a distance so that I can see how the students interact with one another in peer to peer creative work. Through their work I will also make note of the language that they use with one another and if it is encouraging to one another as poets working together.

Anticipating student responses’ and your possible responses:

There is a possibility that the students will not find the activity interesting, it being a Friday morning when they are tired from a week of school and looking forward to the weekend. However I hope that this is something different enough that the students who are participating will take an interest in it. If they do not, I plan on using my own wokka-wokka poem, reading it out loud to them and allowing myself to be a bit silly so that they will look at this activity as something they want to do as creative poets and not as something mandatory they have to do as students.

In terms of management issues, I do not really anticipate any because I have worked with this group of students before. They are usually well behaved during guided reading time and get along with one another and with me great. I think the one person that I end up paying a bit more attention to is one boy, Siah, who’s energy and talkativeness usually gets him in trouble. However I am hoping that this lesson will let him channel his energy into something productive.


The group that I anticipate working with have different strengths and skills in terms of readers and writers. The class as a whole have had a lot of help practice with peer editing and working in mixed skills groups so I am hoping that they will be able to aid on each other so that finishing the lesson is not an individual task but a group effort. Also, because poetry is a new concept and no one is an experienced poet I am not quite sure what to anticipate.

View my reflections and lesson plan revisions here!

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