SOLSC Day 4: Teaching Five Line Poems to First and Second Graders


Our school has been fortunate to host author Susan Blackaby for three days. If you haven’t read Brownie Groundhog and the February Fox(2011) or Brownie Groundhog and the Wintry Surprise (2013), I encourage you to do so. She’s a master in word choice and her characters are so fun. She’s also written Nest, Nook and Cranny (2010) winner of The 2011 Lion and the Unicorn Award for Excellence in North America Poetry.

Her first day was about her life as a writer. Last week she worked with students on writing a five-line poem about an animal. As I saw classes last week and this we’ve followed up with the writing.

Writing poems with K-2 is tricky. So I posted the poems written as a group in kindergarten through third grade. These were the ones written with Susan.
I created a word list of other words for walk, run, and fly. Words have been added throughout the week.

Then I created a framework for the poem. This is the kindergarten one:

For classes that are done in a thirty minute, each student has a copy of the frame work. Together we brainstorm the animals, the describing words, etc.
Many of the students grasped the idea. Others are perfectionists and want all the words spelled correctly. I have to remind them it’s progress not perfection.
I can’t wait for us to share our work on Thursday when Susan returns.
More slices can be found at Two Writing Teachers.

This entry was posted in Poetry, SOLSC2014, Writing and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

15 Responses to SOLSC Day 4: Teaching Five Line Poems to First and Second Graders

  1. Linda Baie says:

    I just taught a group of about second graders last week. We worked on using sound for our inspirations, looking for fun words that are onomatopoeia examples. Your week sounds awesome, Jone. So happy to see the poem result. I guess the kids loved it.

  2. Glad you shared this–I often wonder (and struggle) thinking about how certain lessons fit in with the elementary school crowd. In other words, when I go someplace for professional development, and listen to a presenter, it often feels like it fits the middle school/high school crowd…and I’ve chatted with elementary school folks who have asked “how does this work for me?” It is good (for me) to learn more about how the elementary school mind works through real samples and real lessons from real teachers 😉

  3. margaretsmn says:

    Frameworks work well to give the little poets a taste for success with writing. This one also teaches simile. Great work going on at your school!

  4. I was at a forum at the University of Pennsylvania this past weekend and we discussed at length the power of poetry for all – small children, incarcerated adults, English Language Learners. Your post reinforces those ideas! Thanks,


  5. Tracey says:

    I think it is wonderful the younger grades are getting to experiment with poetry. I am teaching my Year 4’ers how to write cinquain poems tomorrow and we have played around with alliteration the last 2 days. They are so creative. I on the other hand have little confidence in having a go at poetry on an adult level. Not enough practice at school i suppose.

    • macrush53 says:

      You know, kids get alliteration, don’t they. As for adults you just have to jump in!

  6. Tara Smith says:

    Between Julie’s Story Box poetry and your class room goings on, it is clear that poetry remains at the heart of many classrooms – how wonderful! PS. Love the poem you shared.

  7. Ramona says:

    I had to stop by when I saw that you had Susan Blackaby at your school. I love Nest, Nook, and Cranny, but I don’t know the other books. I’m off to request them. Thanks for sharing your framework. Hope to come back and explore a bit more – looks like you love poetry and I’ll be hosting the Poetry Storybox next October at our school.

  8. jarhartz says:

    Poetry and little ones is tricky. I like the framework and the idea of process not perfection. (A good one for all of us!) Thank you>

Comments are closed.