Poetry and Paragraphs: a 16-Week Course of Integrated Literature, Research, and Paragraph Writing for Middle School and Early High School

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“The Fish” by Elizabeth Bishop

Copy the turn here:

Write your paraphrase of the lines here:

Terms (So Far)

Title a notebook page in the Notes section “Literary Elements.” Please copy these terms and their definitions into your notebook and memorize them!






Title another page in the Notes section “Writing about Literature.” Copy the following term and its definition on this page.


Poetry Writing Assignment #1 (Completed as homework over three days this week)

Homework Day 1

Remember the list of concrete and abstract words you made to describe a family holiday?

Now, you will use that list to compose a poem. Start by deciding upon a dominant impression from the abstract list. Do you want to describe the holiday as funny, sad, exciting…?

Dominant impression:

Next, put an X through your abstract list. Poems usually contain more concrete imagery than abstraction, so try to avoid using items from the abstract list Then, cut any details from the concrete list that don’t fit your dominant impression.

Arrange the images from your concrete list. A good rule of thumb is to progress from one side of the scene to the other as you describe.
Order of images



Think of at least one metaphor and one simile to add to your descriptions. The metaphor and the simile may take the place of more straightforward descriptions you’ve thought of earlier.



Your poem should have a turn. For now, it is enough for your turn to summarize the main feeling of the poem. Make your turn in the last two lines of the poem. You may use an abstraction in the turn.
Put your poem aside and rest your mind for a day before proceeding with the next day’s work. You’ll write better after a rest.

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