Writing Poetry: A FREE lesson for writing odes!

Free poetry lesson for upper elementary and middle school students. Write an ode!
As a teacher, there are so many things to love about April. In many locations (including my own state of Iowa), the weather is getting warmer and the likelihood of a winter storm hitting the area diminishes with each passing day. The end of the school year is finally on the distant horizon. And... it's Poetry Month! In my opinion, taking a break from writing multi-paragraph essays and narratives is such a sweet treat in April.

Thanks to poets like Jack Prelutsky, Bruce Lansky, and Kenn Nesbitt, it's a piece of cake to get students excited about poetry. Their humorous styles are perfect for upper elementary students. The best (and easiest!) way to start off your poetry unit is simply to read aloud a few of these men's poems. Affiliate links included below:
    

I love that Bruce Lansky and Kenn Nesbitt both have kid-friendly and teacher-friendly websites, too! Bruce Lansky's Giggle Poetry website is extremely engaging. One of my favorite sections of this site is the "Read and Rate section". I haven't spent quite as much time on Kenn Nesbitt's Poetry4Kids website, but it looks equally amazing. It contains a section called "Poems by Reading Level". Both websites include outstanding poetry lesson ideas, too! Having students spend time reading and rating poems on these websites can be very fun on those last few days of the school year, when you feel like you are running out of options for things to do.

The day where we get to write odes is one of my favorite days within my poetry unit. Therefore, I decided to share a free lesson with you today. Feel free to download the printables near the end of this post and do this with your own students.

I begin by introducing odes to students. (Personally, I use slides 39-45 of my Poetry PowerPoint to do this, but you could easily recopy these ideas on chart paper if you don't own the PowerPoint.)
Free poetry lesson for upper elementary and middle school students. Write an ode!

Next, I share examples of odes. Along with the ode to ice cream below that I wrote, here are links to some additional funny odes:
Free poetry lesson for upper elementary and middle school students. Write an ode!
Finally, I pass out the ode brainstorming sheet (click HERE to download). As you can see, it contains 8 steps... starting with picking a topic, continuing with brainstorming adjectives, hyperboles, and imagery sentences, and concluding with space for students to write their rough draft.
Free poetry lesson for upper elementary and middle school students. Write an ode! Free poetry lesson for upper elementary and middle school students. Write an ode!

Since I don't have my own classroom, I asked my fifth grade daughter to test out this lesson for me. She has always had an affinity for bacon (it actually may be more of an obsession...), so I should not have been surprised when she immediately chose bacon as her topic. I can honestly say that she had a ton of fun working through the brainstorming sheet (we laughed a lot!), and when it came time to write her rough draft, she whipped it out in about three minutes. She and I were both very proud of her final copy!
Free poetry lesson for upper elementary and middle school students. Write an ode!
Kayla's brainstorming sheet

Free poetry lesson for upper elementary and middle school students. Write an ode!
Her published copy and illustration!
I would love for you to try this in your own classroom and let me know if your students have as much fun writing their odes as my daughter did! Email me or leave a comment below. If you are so inclined, send me a few photos of finished products! I would love to add a few more student sample photos to this post!

Finally, if you would like to take a quick look at my Poetry Bundle, just click on the image below.
Poetry Bundle for upper elementary and middle school classrooms! This includes poetry lessons and activities for 16 days!

2 comments:

  1. This is great; exactly what I was looking for. I'm trying it out with my homeschool class of 10 3rd and 4th graders tomorrow. I think they'll love it.

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