Workshop Wednesday: Nonfiction Animal Poetry - Ideas By Jivey: For the Classroom

Workshop Wednesday: Nonfiction Animal Poetry

Welcome to Workshop Wednesday!!
Today, we are sharing how we teaching students to write poetry. We are having a lot of fun using informational texts about animals to write poems this week!

You might remember a couple of weeks ago when I shared how I used the book, Vulture Verses: Love Poems for the Unloved.
Well, you know how I like to use books over and over in my room. Nothing like a good mentor text! :o) So we are using it again as a model - this author writes her poems so that you learn about the animal when you read them! Here's an example from the book:

I am using a fun unit from Pinkadots Elementary to teach this week:
This unit is amazing because everything you need is included!! There is even a sample you can use with your students if you don't have the book, Vulture Verses. I got my students into five groups and gave them the informational sheets about the animals that are included in the unit. They were so excited to learn about animals that aren't very well known here in Georgia!! (Panda, Jaguar, Beaver, Owl, and Zebra!) They eagerly read the information about their animal, marking the information they thought was most important. (We have been working on finding key information in nonfiction during Reading Workshop.)
Then, as a group, they started "trying out" some verses with each other for the poem. I am so impressed at what they got done, because we've really only just begun writing poetry! (Although we have read quite a bit this year.) Here are some examples of their poems- remember, we will be working on these all week, so these are just "rough drafts." :o)
This group was working really hard on saying the panda is endangered without just "saying it."
How about that alliteration!! This group was fascinated by the noises a beaver makes. Ha ha!
This student is very upset that zebras are hunted for their hide, so she said she wants to include that in her poem. She has a good start, I think!
This student seriously blew me away with his poem! He wanted to work alone because he had all these ideas that his group wasn't listening to, so I let him. (Sometimes, you just have to do that, don't you??) And I mean, WOW. I especially love how he said, "if you do see them, they won't be in town." So many kids are getting hung up on trying to give the EXACT fact- but instead of him trying to say they live in the wild or on African grasslands, he told that fact in his own way. :o)

So, what fun things do you do in your classroom to teach poetry?


  1. It's so cool seeing this product in use because I put so much time and effort into it. The poems are coming out GREAT! I'm thinking when your class is finished, we could skype and share our poems or just send them over!
    Pinkadots Elementary

  2. Guess who is so sad that the library does not have Vulture Verses - I am going to have to put in another Amazon order!! Love the poems your class wrote - as I am about to transition from poetry to non-fiction I may have to give this a try!

  3. I love your students' poems! They turned out so great! I love the idea of combining nonfiction and poetry into a single unit. I will also definitely be checking out Vultures Verses (which I'm pretty sure is in my Amazon wishlist).

    Thanks for hosting and always sharing such great ideas & new books!!!
    My Shoe String Life

  4. We are covering Ecosystems in Science, so I'm thinking Vulture Verses could be a fun transition to get them to write poems about Ecosystems or an animal in their ecosystem.

    ~April Walker
    The Idea Backpack

  5. I love this poem writing idea! That last poem about the zebras...WOW! That's some talent right there. :) Thank you for sharing another amazing idea and hosting this linky!
    Fourth Grade Flipper

  6. Looks awesome and I can't wait to do the same lesson! I just got Vulture Verses in the mail because you recommended it! Your kids did a great job with their descriptive writing-I love the inferences!
    Head Over Heels For Teaching

  7. Vulture Verses looks great! I love poetry, and my second graders are beginning to love it as we explore more... Thanks for sharing your kids' work samples. Hope to stop back next week to link up... :0)

    Sarah @ Hoots N' Hollers

  8. I just nominated you for the Sunshine Award!


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