I have SO many writers who love horses so this has been a very popular lesson. It takes a few minutes to get the students set up, but once they understand what to do, they really enjoy thinking of words and completing the poem.
Here are a few notes to get you started:
- This prompt can be used with ANY animal or noun that does not begin with the letter A or Z.
*This post contains affiliate links. For more information, see my disclosures here.*
- It works best if the noun starts with a letter of the alphabet that is near the center (i.e. H-Q). HORSE, HAWK, KITTEN are several examples. That way there are a handful of adjectives before the noun and a handful of verbs after the noun.
- Teach or review adjectives (describing words) and verbs (action words).
- With younger students, work together to fill in the poem. Write a poem on the board for them to refer to or copy from, if necessary.
- Have older students work independently. At the end, if they need help filling in the gaps, do so!
- The instructions below are for the noun HORSE. Remember that this poem can be written for any noun that does not begin with A or Z. The poem can be serious and true or silly and fictional.
Now to write!
Guide the students through the following steps.
- Write the word HORSE in capital letters and next to the letter H.
- Leave the letter A blank.
- Write ONE adjective for each letter B to G.
4. Write ONE verb for each letter I to Z. For the letter X, write a verb that starts with EX as in EXITS.
5. Here’s a sample poem for the noun HORSE:
For the HORSE poem, students can write the word IS for the letter I. Then, the letters J-Z can be –ing verbs.
If students want to write HORSES, they can write an adjective for A. Their verbs I-Z will not have an s on the end.
6. For the title, use a marker or ABC stickers* to write the name of the horse at the top of the poem.
7. Once the students are done writing their poem they can add thematic stickers (i.e. horse stickers for the poem above) to the border.
Or, they can choose a thematic calendar page to go along with their poem (i.e. a horse picture for the poem above).
Games to Play
Sentence Scramblers (Using the following horse sentences)
Tale or Truth (Telling your own stories about horses)