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Writing Poetry

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WRITING POETRY
RHYMING POETRY
Look at hymn stanzas
Count the syllables to determine the meter pattern.
Write your own poem making sure the number of
syllables in each line follow a consistent pattern.
NON-RHYMING POETRY
Select a magazine picture (later you can create a list of
words such as holidays, emotions, places, etc. from
which students can choose).
Write a paragraph about the picture using complete
sentences. Write what you think, wonder, feel, etc.
Insert line breaks (vary the number of words, but don’t
include more than 5 or 6 words at the most on any one
line).
Rewrite the poem using the line breaks.
Share your poem then show the picture.
FOUND/PARALLEL POETRY
http://www.readwritethink.org/lesson_images/lesson33/foundparallelpoems.pdf
select a great passage from a favorite book
rewrite it as a poem (using selected words/phrases)
then use that poem you “found” to write your own
“parallel” poem
POETRY SCAFFOLDS
Poetry scaffolds are simply structures that students can use to
create their own poems. Everyone is a poet using poetry scaffolds!
Please remember these are just scaffolds—allow for/encourage
student variations on different poems. Examples on the following
pages:
PEACE POEMS
PREWRITING:
Have students create a “T-chart” listing things they consider peaceful on one side and
things they don’t consider peaceful on the other side.
SCAFFOLD:
Peace is . . .
Peace is not . . .
Peace is . . .
Peace is not . . .
Peace is . . .
(Repeat “peace is, peace is not” as many times as desired ending in “peace is.”)
EXAMPLE:
Peace is a gentle mountain stream.
Peace is not a thundering tornado.
Peace is the sound of birds in the spring.
Peace is not loud city sounds.
Peace is a rainbow after a storm.
Peace is not a car wreck blocking traffic.
Peace is mother’s homemade soup when I’m sick.
Peace is not my baby brother’s screams late at night.
Peace is a smile, a hug, or an encouraging word.
COLOR POEMS
PREWRITING:
Have students list as many colors as comes to mind. Then have students choose one
color and brainstorm as many things as they can think of for each of their five senses.
Finally, have them use their prewriting to create their poem using the scaffold or their
own variation.
SCAFFOLD:
Red looks like . . .
Red tastes like . . .
Red feels like . . .
Red sounds like . . .
Red smells like . . .
EXAMPLE 1:
Red looks like a burning fire at night.
Red tastes like plump, ripe, juicy strawberries.
Red feels like a hot summer day.
Red sounds like a crunchy apple.
Red smells like a sweet, fragrant rose.
EXAMPLE 2:
Red is the flow of blood running through my veins when I’m angry.
Red is a fire truck rushing to the scene of an accident.
Red is my face when my mother embarrasses me.
Red is Christmas packages filled with wonderful surprises.
Red is the Ferrari I want when I turn sixteen!
VARRIATION:
You can use this same scaffold, but instead of describing a color, describe an emotion,
natural disaster, or other word.
WACKY WEEK POEMS
PREWRITING:
Have students make a list of crazy, outlandish things they couldn’t possibly do in a week
or in a lifetime.
SCAFFOLD:
On Sunday I (s-verb) _____________________.
On Monday I (m-verb) _____________________.
On Tuesday I (t-verb) _____________________.
On Wednesday I (w-verb) ______________________.
On Thursday I (t-verb) ___________________________.
On Friday I (f-verb) __________________________.
On Saturday I (s-verb) ____________________________.
Al in all, it was a very (adjective) week!
EXAMPLE:
On Sunday I sailed to the tip of Africa.
On Monday I munched on millions of millipedes.
On Tuesday I took a jet to Europe.
On Wednesday I waded through an ocean of barracuda.
On Thursday I thumbed my way across the country.
On Friday I found a buried treasure.
On Saturday I surfed across the Gulf of Mexico.
All in all, it was a very exciting week!
ARGUMENT POEMS
PREWRITING:
Have students list as many things as they can think of that they feel strongly for or
against.
SCAFFOLD:
I really want . . .
Because . . .
And because . . .
And because . . .
And because . . .
And because . . .
And mostly because . . .
People should not ever . . .
Because . . .
And because . . .
And because . . .
And because . . .
And because . . .
And mostly because . . .
EXAMPLE:
Students should be able to wear whatever they want to school.
Because they have so many other rules they must follow,
And because it allows them to wear their best colors ,
And because they need to learn how to make clothing choices,
And because it puts money into the economy,
And mostly because it allows them to express their individuality.
ALPHABET POEMS
PREWRITING:
Have students select various letters of the alphabet and write a sentence for each one
using as many words in the sentence that start with that letter.
SCAFFOLD:
(Letter) was __________________.
It’s [adjective, adjective, adjective, adjective].
(Letter) has a __________________,
And ____________________________.
It has seen a _______________________,
And a _________________________.
(Letter) [verb, verb, verb, verb],
And it [verb, verb, verb, verb].
It has _______________________.
Except when it’s ____________________.
EXAMPLE:
T was treated for tonsillitis.
It’s terrible, terrific, tantalizing, and tired.
T has a turtle in a tank
and tattles on its twin.
It has seen a turbulent tornado,
And a temper-filled tiger.
T twists, turns, talks, and trudges,
And it trusts, topples, trains, and tampers.
It has tried to tame a tapir.
T is always tracing turnips,
Except when it’s tired of tearing tapeworms.
GRAMMAR POEMS
PREWRITING:
Have students list several nouns then choose one and list several adjectives for it.
SCAFFOLD:
{Noun},
{Noun},
{Noun}.
{Adjective noun},
{Adjective noun}.
{Adjective, adjective, adjective noun}.
{Adjective, adjective, adjective noun}.
Those are just a few.
{Adjective noun},
{Adjective noun},
[Participle, participle, participle noun].
[Participle, participle, participle noun].
{Adjective noun}, too.
{Adjective noun},
{Adjective noun},
{Adjective noun}.
Don’t forget [adjective noun].
Last of all—best of all—
I like [adjective noun].
EXAMPLE:
Bunnies,
Bunnies,
Bunnies.
Big bunnies,
Little bunnies.
Cute, soft, cuddly, bunnies,
Black, white, spotted bunnies.
Those are just a few.
Nice bunnies,
Ornery bunnies,
Hopping, running, hiding bunnies,
Eating, sleeping, racing bunnies.
Fearful bunnies too.
Newborn bunnies,
Mama bunnies,
Don’t forget the old bunnies.
Last of all—best of all—
I like Chocolate bunnies!
ADMIRATION POEMS
PREWRITING:
Have students make a list of things and people they admire. Then chose one of each and
list reasons for their admiration.
SCAFFOLD:
{Subject}are the{adjective}{what they are} I know.
They (what they do),
And they (what they do),
And they (what they do).
They (what they do),
And they (what they do),
And they (what they do).
But mostly because they {what they do}—
{Subject}are the{adjective}{what they are} I know.
EXAMPLE:
Dogs are the greatest animals I know.
They act like you’re the greatest person in the world,
And they are happy every time they see you,
And they always want to be by your side.
They know when you’re in a bad mood,
And they try to lift your spirits,
And they even love you when you smell.
But mostly because they love you unconditionally—
Dogs are the greatest animals I know.
“I LIKE. . .” POEMS
PREWRITING:
Ask students if they can recall “a few of my favorite things” from The Sound of Music.
Then have them make a list of their favorite things.
SCAFFOLD:
I like . . .
But I don’t like . . .
Repeat these two lines as many times as desired.
EXAMPLE:
I like pretty girls,
But I don’t like girls who act like you don’t exist!
I like fast sports cars,
But I don’t like my dad reminding me of insurance costs!
I like my mother’s homemade chocolate chip cookies,
But I don’t like when she makes me eat liver and onions!
I like the weekends,
But I don’t like them when I have lots of homework!”
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