Two Voice Poetry with The City of Ember


I love doing poetry with my students.  I believe writing poetry makes them better writers and readers.  We keep poetry notebooks and we write poetry 2-3 times a week.  One of my favorite types of poems are two-voice poems.  We are currently reading the book, “The City of Ember”, by Jeanne DuPrau and we created a city-scape of the gray/black buildings in Ember with watercolors and watercolor pencils on half of an 8.5 x 14 sheet of paper.  On the other half of the paper, students create a picture of a brightly colored object of their choice.


Students then write two separate eight-line poems, one for each of the pictures they have created.  These separate poems are written on blank 4 x 6 index cards.  We add borders in thin markers to each of the cards keeping with the color scheme of the painting and the poem.


Next, students write the combined poem by alternating the lines of the two separate poems.  We write the merged poem on a sheet of white cardstock paper.  The students place the four items onto a background sheet of 12 x 18 construction paper.  Once they are compiled, I laminated them so they would stay together.  They look great in the hallway!


Students love reading their two-voice poems aloud!  We read them many different ways, including: with a partner, on their own, as a table group, and even as a whole classroom.  They loved these poems and it was incredible how well the poems worked together even though they were so different separately!


Why not try two-voice poetry in your classroom?  Use just about ANY topic!