Nature Poems about Local Plants and Animals

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SWBAT write poems about local plant and animal life that uses both accurate information and figurative language.

Big Idea

There are many ways to encourage writing for science.

Notes to the Teacher

1 minutes

I like to show students images of various animal species prior to writing the poem because it is a much richer experience for everyone if they don't all write about the same animals.  Additionally, it is yet another opportunity to increase their awareness of the diversity of the local (or any) environment.  There are myriad resources to obtain comprehensive OR abbreviated lists of local animals.  The state department of the environment or national parks within given states are always good starting points.  Here are links to animal lists for locations in the western states to assist students in using reasonably local animals in their nature poem.  I look up these lists quite often and if you need any help at all, please comment on this lesson's page and I'll get back to you with a list for your area!


Writing a Nature Poem About Local Animals and Plants

50 minutes

The students start their poem by using a simile to describe the sunrise or sunset.  Watch to be sure they remain consistent throughout the poem.

I guide them through it sentence by sentence.  We generate an example together if needed and then they write their own sentence.  

This is the general outline of the poem.  

  • starting sentence:
  • The (adjective) sun rises (simile) over (name of local environment/place).
  • mammal sentence:  adjective, mammal, verb – why are they doing that? Where?
  • bird sentence:  adjective, bird name, verb – where? Why? What?
  • reptile sentence:  describe the reptile using a simile or metaphor
  • plant sentence:  describe a flower
  • plant sentence #2: another description of a specific plant.
  • plant sentence #3:  personify a specific plant.
  • concluding sentence:  statement about the season, how you feel, the overall environment - general


You will need to vary it for your location.  For example, you may want to add in amphibians but remove reptiles!

Here is a form with the above outline and room for feedback.  Here is the template with a student example.  This child reads her poem along with a visual presentation she made in the next lesson section.



Presenting the Poems

15 minutes

At the conclusion of this lesson students copy over their final draft or type it up. About a quarter of the class wanted to put their poems into a visual presentation.  I used screencast-o-matic and advanced this student's Powerpoint as she read each line of her poem.  Our student computers aren't capable of handling this program well so I ran it off my teacher computer.  I have found that have a microphone lined into the computer provides noticeably better audio quality than just the computer's external microphone.