Lessons & Units :: Genre Studies: Poetry 1st Grade Unit

Lesson 1: The Structure of Poems

Lesson Plan

Insectlopedia | NP

Learning Goal
Explain that poems look different than other kinds of text.
Describe the way a poem looks.
Approximately 50 minutes
Necessary Materials
Provided: Unit Example Chart, Independent Practice Worksheet
Not Provided: Insectlopedia by Douglas Florian, chart paper, markers
  • Teacher Modeling

    will explain to students that one characteristic of poems is that they do not look like other stories or books. In other books, you read paragraphs or complete sentences from left to right, one line after another. Poems have different forms; they look different. I will add “Looks Different” to my Characteristics of Poetry Chart (Example Chart is provided in Unit Teacher and Student Materials). I will show students two examples of poems with different forms from Insectlopedia by Douglas Florian. I will model describing the form of the poems “The Caterpillar” and “The Dragonfly”. I will do this by looking at the poem like a picture or a painting and describing its shape and words that are out of place or arranged differently. For example, I will describe the form of “The Caterpillar” by saying the lines are very short, sometimes with only one word. I will notice that in “The Dragonfly” that the words “I sweep, I swoop, I terrorize” are written in a diagonal shape. I will write the titles of these poems on my Characteristics of Poetry Chart and explain that poems can look very different from other kinds of texts (and other poems).

  • Think Check

    Ask: "How did I describe the poem?" Students should respond that you looked at the words, sentences, and how the text looks on the page (the shapes and word arrangements), to describe how the poem looks.

  • Guided Practice

    will read the poems “The Army Ants” and “The Inchworm” from Insectlopedia. We will describe how the poems look different from other kinds of texts. For example, we will point out that “The Inchworm” is written to look like an inchworm (see the picture on the next page). Instead of being written in lines or sentences, it is written artistically. We will use this example to explain how poems look different from other kinds of texts, and we will add the titles of the poems to our Characteristics of Poetry Chart.

  • Independent Practice

    will listen to “The Whirligig Beetles” from Insectlopedia. You will describe what the poem looks like and explain you know it is a poem (Independent Practice Worksheet is provided). You will share your description and explanation aloud, and the teacher will add the titles of the poems to the Characteristics of Poetry Chart.

Build Student Vocabulary bold

Tier 2 Word: bold
Contextualize the word as it is used in the story “Behold my bold Enormous eyes.”
Explain the meaning student-friendly definition) Bold means fearless and daring. When the dragonfly says “behold my bold, enormous eyes,” the dragonfly is telling the reader to look at its fearless eyes.
Students repeat the word Say the word bold with me: bold
Teacher gives examples of the word in other contexts The pilot was bold for trying that upside down trick in the air. My handwriting is bold, so the teacher cannot miss a letter. My mother was bold for rescuing my dog from the middle of the street.
Students provide examples Who do you know that is bold? Tell me about this person by saying, “Someone I know who is bold is _____________________ because __________________.”
Students repeat the word again. What word are we talking about? bold
Additional Vocabulary Words demon, enormous

Build Student Background Knowledge

Before reading the poems for the lesson, explain to students that the title of the poetry collection, Insectlopedia is a play on the word “encyclopedia”. An encyclopedia is a type of text in which you can look up any topic alphabetically and learn more information about it. We can draw a conclusion that an insectlopedia is going to tell us information about different kinds of insects, even if it does this in a poem.

Texts & Materials

Standards Alignment

(To see all of the ReadWorks lessons aligned to your standards, click here.)

User Comments

Thank You- Great Guide


great ideas!! thank u!!

thank you