One of my new favorite things to do in my class is write poetry. The kids love writing poems, and it is a quick and easy go-to writing assignment. So far we have almost two poems under our belts. The first one we wrote was to piggy back off of a lesson we did on sensory language. My AMAZING teammate came up with the idea, and I loved it so much I am sharing it with you! It worked really well and I got some of the best writing I have seen from 5th graders since I started teaching!
The first thing we did was talk about how authors use sensory language to help readers feel immersed in their "world." A great book for teaching this is Smokey Night by Eve Bunting. This is the story of the Los Angeles riots told through the eyes of a child. We talked about what one would have seen, heard, smelled, and felt during this monumental event.
After that, we talked about how colors can be described in a way that makes you see, hear, smell, feel and even taste them. We read part of the book I Love You the Purplest by Barbara M. Joosse for this activity. Joosse creates wonderful imagery through her use of descriptive sensory language. I got goosebumps!
Finally we got to the writing. To complete their activity, the students picked a crayon with an interesting name from my box of 64 Crayola crayons. (I imagine this could be much more interesting if you had the oh-so-epic 120 count box...but alas, I don't.) We discussed how some colors were "cool" and some "warm." We talked about the mood that could be created by different colors.
Using their crayons as inspiration (who wouldn't be inspired by colors such as "Purple Mountains Majesty" or "Tickle Me Pink"???), the students began drafting their poems using this outline from http://www.writingfix.com/:
After going through the writing process, we finally published the poems in Microsoft Word. I thought it would be neat to use the "outline" text feature for the color names so that the students could use their crayons to shade in the words. I also had them illustrate their work with pictures of what they had described. Below are some of the poems the students created: