Students will learn about different types of poetry and write poems to express what they know about whales and dolphins.
By the conclusion of the activities, students will be able to:
- Describe at least two different types of poetry
- Differentiate between the basic structures of poems
- Write an original poem reflecting their knowledge of cetaceans
What You Will Need
- Copies of Examples of Poems (pages 10-5 to 10-6) for each student
- Copies of Poetry Planning Worksheet (page 10-7) for each student
- Cetacean fact sheets, computers with Internet access, and/or cetacean reference books
Florida Sunshine State Standards
English Language Arts
- ELA.4.V.1.1 Use grade-level academic vocabulary appropriately in speaking and writing
Common Core Standards
- W.4.4 Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development and organization are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
- W.4.5 With guidance and support from peers and adults, develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, and editing.
- W.4.7 Conduct short research projects that build knowledge through investigation of different aspects of a topic.
- W.4.9 Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.
- L.4.6 Acquire and use accurately grade-appropriate general academic and domain-specific words and phrases, including those that signal precise actions, emotions, or states of being (e.g., quizzed, whined, stammered) and that are basic to a particular topic (e.g., wildlife, conservation, and endangered when discussing animal preservation).
- Explain to students that the class will be learning about different types of poetry, and that each student will be writing a poem.
- Ask the students what they know about poems or poetry. Write responses (e.g., poems have words that rhyme) on the board.
- Explain that there are many different types of poems. All are creative ways of expressing thoughts, facts, or emotions. Some poems can be funny, and some can be sad. Some have lines that rhyme, while others do not.
- Hand out copies of Examples of Poems to each student.
- Either read, or select students to read aloud, the explanation of each type of poem and the example on the sheets. Carefully explain the structure of each type of poem.
- Make sure that students know what a syllable, synonym, adjective, and noun are.
- Tell students that they will be writing poems about cetaceans. They should use knowledge and information that they have gained from the first lessons in the curriculum when writing their poems (i.e., the poems should contain facts and not be completely fictional).
- Give each student a copy of the Poetry Planning Worksheet and any reference materials you want them to have (fact sheets from this curriculum, computers with Internet access, books, etc.).
- Ask students to complete the planning worksheet.
- Once students have selected a topic, done some research, and chosen a type of poem, have them write the first draft of their poems.
- Divide students into small groups and have them read their draft poems aloud to each other. Remind them that these poems are DRAFTS, which means that others in the group may have suggestions to improve the poems. Encourage students to be constructive and specific with their criticism. Remind them that different people often have different opinions about things, so there are no "right" or "wrong" creative opinions in this exercise. The author of the poem may choose to take advice from others in the group or stick with the original draft version of the poem.
- Once everyone in the group has read their poem and received feedback, allow some time for students to revise their poems if they wish.
- Allow students to illustrate their poems. This may be done by hand or digitally (using Word, PowerPoint, or Publisher to create a poster that incorporates the poem as well as graphics).
- A grading rubric is provided on page 3.
Activity modified from Multipurpose Poetry: Introducing Science Concepts and Increasing Fluency (http://www.readwritethink.org/classroom-resources/lesson-plans/multipurpose-poetry-introducing-science-69.html?tab=4#tabs).
Grading rubric modified from one created by Christine Lewy and accessed at http://departments.bcsd.com/CIPD/Chris%20Poetry%20rubric.pdf.
Examples of Poems
Poetry in which the first letters of the lines, when read vertically, spell out a word. The word is usually the subject of the poem.
As I eat it on my brownie
Not doubting it's sweet
Ice cream is a tasty treat
Lots of lingering taste
Lasting to the end
Always my favorite!
A poem with five lines. Each has a required number of syllables and a specific topic.
Line 1: Title (noun)—two syllables
Line 2: Description—four syllables
Line 3: Action—six syllables
Line 4: Feeling (phrase)—eight syllables
Line 5: Title (synonym for the title)—two syllables
Waiting, watching, weeding
Enjoying all the while they grow
Rhyming poems of four lines. Poets use letters to express the rhyme pattern or scheme. The four types of quatrain rhyme are AABB (shown in the example), ABAB, ABBA, and ABCB.
Picnic planning in July
Traveling up the mountains so high!
What an adventure for me
Because I prefer mountains to sea!
A whimsical poem with five lines. Lines 1, 2, and 5 rhyme with each other and lines 3 and 4 rhyme with each other. Rhyme pattern: AABBA.
A flea and a fly in a flue
Were caught, so what could they do?
Said the fly, "Let us flee."
"Let us fly," said the flea.
So they flew through a flaw in the flue.
Diamond-shaped poems of seven lines that are written using parts of speech.
Line 1: Noun or subject
Line 2: Two adjectives
Line 3: Three "-ing" words
Line 4: Four words about the subject
Line 5: Three "-ing" words
Line 6: Two adjectives
Line 7: Synonym for the subject
Loving, sharing, talking
Friendship, food, car, travels
Living, loving, enjoying
Poem that forms a visible picture on the page. The shape usually reflects the subject of the poem.
Trees blossoming in the spring
Clouds above give rain
Fruit will come soon
Nature is at work
Poetry without rules of form, rhyme, rhythm, or meter.
What do the oceans do at night?
Do they tease and tickle the bottom of boats?
Do they ripple away in fright?
Or are the beaches like coats
That keep them still and quiet
And once the day breaks and it's breakfast time
Do the oceans wish for some other diet than fish?
Poetry Planning Worksheet
- What will your poem be about? You can choose one species of cetacean, a group of cetaceans, or cetaceans in general. Write your answer in the space below.
- Use reference materials (fact sheets, Internet, books) to do some research about your cetacean to use in your poem. Write down at least three interesting facts about your cetacean(s). Use these questions as starting points: What does it look like (size/color/appearance)? Where does it live? What does it eat? Does it have any unusual behaviors?
- What type of poem do you want to write? Use the Examples of Poems sheet to help you choose a type of poem.