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    poetry is fun
    By Leisa

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    Too bad your unit focuses so little on writing. I did a unit for the first time last year with my third graders after spring break. I thought they'd be too tired of school to work very hard, but this unit was the highlight of my year. They wrote THE MOST creative, beautiful things and for the first time all year, I couldn't wait to come to school every day! I'll share what I did even though it's focused on writing. Each child ended up with a poetry booklet - the pages were the size of half an 8 1/2 x 11 sheet of paper. The first page told what a haiku was (the "formula" if you will), the second page was their written haiku. Third page was the definition of a cinquain, or diamonte, etc. followed by their work. Before we even started the unit, the children came up with lists of nouns, adjectives, verbs which I copied on large paper for their reference when they began to write. I looked on the internet for types of poetry and the definitions/formulas. I used about 6 or 7 types of poetry. I'd put up the definition or formula - copied in marker on large paper, and a sample of a poem that fit that type - then they'd go to work. We'd share some that day, review the formula, sample, let them write a few more and share. They'd pick their favorite to edit for spelling, and I'd give them a sheet of paper to write it neatly for their booklet. They loved, loved, loved doing this! It's entirely possible that when I get to this unit this spring, my class this year will be a different group and not get into it - that's how it goes from year to year. Good luck. Try some websites that have lesson plans for teachers such as and I believe Proteacher have lesson plan ideas. I teach in North Carolina and poetry is part of the 3rd grade curriculum, so you could go to our state idea page at

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