National Poetry Month: Opposite and Found Poetry Lessons

“My skin is kind of sort of brownish pinkish yellowish white. My eyes are greyish blueish green, but I’m told they look orange in the night. My hair is reddish blondish brown, but its silver when its wet, and all the colors I am inside have not been invented yet.”  Shel Silverstein, Where the Sidewalk Ends.

Visit any elementary school classroom and most likely you will find a copy of Shel Silverstein’s Where the Sidewalk Ends. It was one of my favorite books during my younger years.  I enjoyed reading the short poems chock full of words that sounded like music to my ears.  Since it’s National Poetry Month, I want to share some poetry lessons with you.

Poetry is not included in the Common Core Writing Standards. However, it is in the Reading Standards, and we at WritingCity think it is beneficial to have students try their hand at writing some poetry when you can fit it in. However, all of us at WritingCity think it’s still important to teach students the craft of poetry.

Here are some ideas of how you can incorporate poetry in your classroom. Feel free to modify and tailor them to your students’ learning levels and capabilities.

The lesson and visual aids provided allow you to create a class book of Opposite Poetry. You’ll introduce opposites/antonyms and your students will use the handout (provided) to create sentences of Opposite Poetry using two antonyms. You will introduce or review opposites/antonyms and model an example for your students. Each line of poetry will go on a new page with the illustration.

Sample: Big is a big big skyscraper. Little is a little little penny. Have your students choose their opposite words and create their own lines. Once they are done, staple the finished work together with the provided cover to create a class book! Click here to get your free lesson.

Creating a “Found Poem” is a Non-Fiction Response Writing activity. Students use the facts they find in a non-fiction piece to create a poem. This lesson can be used for Grades 1-5 because you have the flexibility to choose an article for any reading level. The sample currently chosen is of a lower reading level. Click here get your free lesson.