Story Builder: Lesson 3

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Lesson 3: What is Poetry?

1. Ask your class if they know what a poem is. Ask if anyone can name or recite any poems.

2. Talk to your class about the ways that poetry is different from stories. (You may want to make a list on paper or using WRITE on the XO):

  • Poetry creates a mood or emotion
  • The words in a poem often sounds beautiful and descriptive
  • Poetry doesn’t need to tell a story or use the story elements (setting, characters, problem, resolution)
  • Poems can be just a few lines long, or many pages
  • Poems don’t need to make sense
  • Poems don’t need proper punctuation or grammar
  • Poems sometimes rhyme but they don’t have to

3. Share a poem with your class. It can be one of your own favorites, or you can use the following example (Note: First you may want to explain that a “sparrow” is a small brown bird and “change” means coins in your pocket.)


Spill by Judith Thurman

the wind scatters

a flock of sparrow -

a handful of small change

spilled suddenly

from the clouds’ pockets.



4. Before you read aloud, ask the class to close their eyes and focus on pictures that appear in their minds.

5. After you read the poem, ask the class to draw the pictures that appeared in their minds using the Paint program on the XO Laptop.

6. Look at each other’s pictures and discuss how each one relates to the poem.

7. Encourage the class to read more poems. Look for a book of poetry to share or try to find a site with more poems online.

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