Narrative Poetry Day Two: Planning a Narrative Poem of Your Very Own!

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SWBAT complete a graphic organizer to brainstorm ideas for their narrative poems including characters, setting, problem/solution, plot, interesting, and rhyming words.

Big Idea

Brainstorm ideas for a narrative poem

Welcome to My Lesson

Welcome to a set of five lessons I've written about narrative poetry.  These lessons take students through understanding the structure of a narrative poem, as well as planning, composing, publishing, and recording their own narrative poem.  You could easily extend this week of lessons to cover more days, as I felt a bit rushed to finish in one week with my class (we actually had four days :).  

These lessons are part of a larger, six week unit my district is implementing all about mythology, dragons, gods, giants, ancient Greece, and the Olympics.  However, the poems don't need to be themed according to this particular unit.  I gave my students the choice.  If they wanted to write a narrative poem about a Greek god, great!  However, if they wanted to write their poem about their cat, that was great, too!  You'll notice that I have a themed set of papers with mythological clip art, as well as a set with owl clip art.  Please use whatever works best for your students.

Thank you for visiting, and I hope you and your poets enjoy this week of narrative poetry. Happy writing!

Poetry is an echo, asking a shadow to dance.

By Carl Sandburg

 *Clip art in lesson header from My Cute Graphics.  Thank you!

Review Narrative Poem Genre

5 minutes

Review:  We review what we learned yesterday about narrative poems by looking at our anchor chart and our Narrative Poetry poster.  I also read some of the exit slip Post-its from the conclusion of yesterday's lesson out loud.  The kids love this!  (See Resource Files:  Narrative Poetry Anchor Chart; Narrative Poetry Poster)

Narrative Poems:  I have two more narrative poems ready to share with my friends.  Today, I'm reading the narrative poems "My Teacher Took My iPod" by Kenn Nesbitt, and "The Dog Who Sat on a Log" by 7 year old Vivian.  We debate whether these poems are narrative poems.  The students decide they both tell a story and are in verse, so they are narrative poems.  (See Resource Files:  My Teacher Took My iPod; The Dog Who Sat on a Log)

Lesson: Planning a Narrative Poem

10 minutes

Lesson:  I explain to students that writing poetry is so much fun!  I model again, similar to yesterday, how to complete the Narrative Poem Brainstorm Page.  I think out loud as I go, telling the students that the brainstorm page is just a place for ideas.  You don't have to use every idea you put on the brainstorm page, but it helps you see the big ideas of your poem:  characters, setting, problem/solution, plot, and interesting words you may want to use.  

I also show students the back of the paper where they can record rhyming words, and model how to use the rhyming dictionaries (I only have a few), and online sources to generate rhyming words.  I explain that their word work binders are also a good source of rhyming words, as they contain many word families.  (See Resource Files:  Teacher Sample Front and Back)


*Border on planning page from ScrappinDoodles; owl clipart from Giftseasonstore

Your Turn: Brainstorm Ideas!

30 minutes

Brainstorm:  Now it's the students turn to come up with ideas for their original narrative poem.  I work with a small group of students, and then walk around the room and help as needed.  You'll notice that I have two different Narrative Poem Brainstorm Page graphic organizers.  My students are completing a unit all about dragons, gods, giants, and ancient Greek mythology.  I wanted to give them the choice of a themed organizer, or a plain one with owl clip art.

Students also have access to rhyming dictionaries (I have only a few copies), as well as use of the iPads and classroom computers to search for rhyming words.  Here are some sites you may find useful:

Rhyme Zone

Rhymer by Write Zone

Prime Rhyme


*When your students are completed with their brainstorm page, you can complete that part of the rubric.

Review and Celebrate

5 minutes

Review:  We review that a narrative poem is a story told in verse.  

Celebrate:  I have students celebrate by turning and sharing one favorite idea that they brainstormed for their poems today.  This was important because they wanted to talk about their ideas during their work time today, and I promised them a few minutes at the end of class to share.

Lesson Extras

Here are some other items you may find helpful if you are completing activities related to narrative poetry.  

Home Activity:  Here is an activity you can send home with your students to reinforce learning about narrative poetry at home.  (See Resource File:  Home Poetry Assignment)

Word Choice:  My students also completed a narrative fantasy story during this unit.  These are posters and handouts I created to help with word choice.  You may find them helpful to use with your students while writing poetry, too!  (See Resource Files:  Figurative Language Posters and Word Lists)

Website Links:  Here are some website links for your little poets to learn and play with poetry: 

PBS Kids Fern's Poetry Nook

Giggle Poetry

Kenn Nesbitt's Poetry Fun & Games

Shel Silverstein's Fun & Games

RIF Poetry Splatter

Scholastic Poetry Idea Machine

Jack Prelutsky's Website