Lesson Plan: Oil Country Poetry: A New Genre G 8-10

Written By: Betty Dhuyvetter, Educator
Grade Level: Grades 8-10

Time Allotment

Three 50 min. periods (approximately), possibly expanding into a two‐week unit


Students will discuss the value of place in writing poetry, using examples of cowboy poetry in order to develop a new genre called oil country poetry. They will use poetic techniques and review sound devices in order to create their own poems.

Lesson Plan: Oil_Country_Poetry-_A_New_Genre.pdf

Subject Matter

Language Arts: Poetry, literary terms, sound devices, oral presentation

Learning Objectives

Students will:
  • Understand the connection between place and writing poetry as they develop a basic understanding of the genre of cowboy poetry.
  • Use the previously studied literary technique of rhythm and rhyme in poetry, and will focus on the previously studied sound devices of alliteration, consonance, assonance, personification, and onomatopoeia.
  • Discuss the development of a poetry genre of our own called “Oil Country Poetry.”
  • Create poems incorporating these sound devices, as well as rhyme and rhythm.
  • Media Components - Video/Web

    1. Leon Flick, Cowboy Poet
    2. 2 Below Zero: Jessie Veeder’s Boomtown
    3. Jessie Veeder on NDStudies
    4. Cowboy Poetry in Medora
    5. Shadd Peihl – Cowboy Poet


  • Paper and pencil/pen, or computers (if available)
  • LCD projector and system to show online digital media to class
  • Teacher Preparation

  • Vocabulary cards
  • View and select video clips
  • Introductory Activities

    Students will review the terminology needed to effectively prepare their own oil country poems.
    1. Give each student a card with one of the vocabulary terms.
    2. Each student find the card with the correct definition of the term.
    3. Present the term and definition to the class.

    Learning Activities

    Teacher will ask students to consider the connection between place (environment and the work place) and writing.
    1. Students will elicit their responses.
    2. Students will view the video Leon Flick: Cowboy Poet (one of the other cowboy poet videos).
    3. Students will identify the poetic elements in this poetry and will discuss the effect of place on writing.
    4. Teacher will introduce discussion relating to the topic of living in oil country (our new “place”).
    5. Teacher will present a video of Jessie Veeder’s Boomtown.
    6. Students will consider their own “place” as they begin creating their own poems.
    7. Students will identify/highlight the techniques they used in their poems.
    8. Students will share their poems orally with the class.

    Culminating Activity

    1. Students will share their poems orally with the class.
    2. Classmates will offer feedback.

    Cross-Curricular Activity

    Students may consider videotaping their Poetry Out Loud versions of their oil country poetry, incorporating background music as in the Leon Flick video.

    Community Connections

    Students may consider a community presentation. Students may prepare a video to be presented on the screen in the commons as part of a daily bulletin.

  • Computers
  • Flip video cameras