Thursday, April 26, 2018

Hello Spring! An Easy to Follow Poetry Writing Activity

It is finally beginning to look and feel like spring in Virginia!  I'm so excited to feel the warm sun again.  We had a good soaking rain and the world has burst into bloom.  It is time to say hello to spring and bid farewell to old man winter.  What better way to do this than with poetry? 
My students and I had the best time writing and celebrating all the joys of spring time. 

As with most of the writing activities we do, I start with a mentor text.  For this one, I checked out a variety of Spring related poetry books from our school library.  We read poem after poem and enjoyed the flow of the language and the beauty of the springtime illustrations. 
Our favorite was Swing Around the Sun by Barbara Esbenson. We were lucky enough to have a digital version of this one so I could project it and could use it as a shared reading activity. 
Image result for swing around the sun

This acrostic poem book about Spring gave us good inspiration for writing our own poetry. 
After enjoying the poetry of others, my students were ready to draft a poem of their own.  We used a venn diagram to compare and contrast winter and spring.  We were careful to think of contrasting ideas that correlated with each other.  For instance, if we wrote that we drink hot cocoa in the winter, we would record a spring time drink like lemonade on the opposite side.  Because we always say "two brains are better than one", my students brainstormed with a partner.  Then we shared ideas as a whole class.

The next day we were ready to draft.  We used our ideas from our venn diagrams to help us craft lines using the pattern Hello..... and Goodbye......   I modeled how to add adjectives and verbs to jazz up lines and make them more interesting to read.  For instance instead of writing Hello sandals and Goodbye boots, we could say..."Hello strappy sandals that let my feet breathe and Goodbye furry boots that keep my toes toasty warm."  My kids came up with some amazing lines!  I love to pause during the drafting stage to have kids read their "Golden Lines".  Hearing the creative lines they were coming up with really inspired the other writers in the room. 

The revising and editing stage came next. It is at this point that I share the writing rubric that will be used.  We talk about their third grade writing targets.  Students get a copy of the rubric and meet with a writing partner.  We always revise in green pen and edit in red.  Students give "Positive Praise" and "Friendly Feedback" during this process.  They give specific compliments about word choice or ideas and then can give helpful advice about a line that may sound confusing or words that may be overused. 

It comes to me next.  It is at this point that I grade the writing piece using the rubric that was shown to the students.  I make any additional corrections so the students get a cleaned up draft to copy.  They copy in their neatest handwriting during the publishing stage. 

Next students get to create art work for to accompany their poem.  We used cupcake liners to craft spring time flowers.  They flipped the liner inside out so the pretty bright colors showed.  Then they used scrap paper to add grass, bugs, leaves, etc. 

Now they were ready to display for others to read and enjoy. 

They make a colorful and cheerful display. 

ALL my students were successful in creating a poem that they were proud to hang up for others to read.  
I've added this poetry activity file to my TPT store if you are interested in trying it with your students.  If you do, my students and I would love to read some of your Hello, Goodbye poems!
Email me @

Happy Spring and Happy Writing!

Let's Write a Spring Poem: Writing Resources and Rubric


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