I love using music in the classroom to teach reading strategies and of course to ignite writing. "You Say" by Lauren Daigle is very inspiring. Hand out copies of the lyrics and play the song. Allow your students to listen to the song as they read along with the lyrics. Discuss what they think the lyrics mean.
Have your students divide a page in half (in their Writer’s Notebooks) and label the left "You Say" and the right "I Say." Have them list what the lyrics say from both vantage points (example: You say I am strong, I say I’m weak).
Then have students think of someone in their lives that is close to them or knows them well (i.e. parent, friend, teacher, etc.) They can jot what they think that person would say about them under the "You Say" column and how they might counter this under the "I Say" column. Model your own "You Say, I Say" so they feel more comfortable doing their own. (example: You say I’m organized, I say it takes a lot of behind-the-scenes planning to look that way)
Return to the part of the song that is the refrain/chorus and have them put their ideas into the format of "You say I am _____ when I ____." These lines will become their poem. You can have students use line breaks and some white space between the "You say __" and "I __ " parts so it looks more like a poem. They can close the poem with an "I believe" statement of their own.
"Most People Are Good" by Luke Bryan is another good song/lyrics to use to get young writers to jot down what they believe about things in their world. They can write "I believe" poems using these lyrics as a mentor text.
Chris Kehan is a Library Media Specialist in the Central Bucks School District and a proud fellow of PAWLP (PA Writing & Literature Project) whose passion is teaching reading and writing to all grade levels and ages. Follow her on Twitter @CBckehan