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Flashlight Poems

Looking for truly imaginative poems? Read Shel Silverstein! Write creative verses and display them on a beam of light.

  • Grade 2
    Grade 3
    Grade 4
  • 60 to 90 Minutes
  • Directions

    1. Shel Silverstein shook the world of children's poetry in 1974 with the publication of Where the Sidewalk Ends. It is the top-selling children's poetry book. Read some of his poems from A Light in the Attic or Where the Sidewalk Ends to the class.
    2. Read poetry by other poets, too, and compare their styles, topics, and other characteristics.
    3. Students use their imagination to create a great story in poetry! Ask students what animals or behaviors do they find captivating? Write your draft with Crayola® Colored Pencils.
    4. Students review and critique their classmates poems. Make suggestions on how they can improve the imagery and clarity of their ideas. Students edit their poems until they are satisfied with it. Check spelling and grammar.
    5. Draw a flashlight on paper with a wide beam of light coming from it. Color it in with Crayola Washable Markers. Cut it out with Crayola Scissors. Use a Crayola Glue Stick to attach it to black construction paper.
    6. With a Crayola Fine Tip Marker, copy your poem in the beam of light coming from the flashlight.
  • Standards

    LA: Read with sufficient accuracy and fluency to support comprehension.

    LA: Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development and organization are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.

    LA: Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions with diverse partners on grade level topics and texts, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly.

    LA: Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.

    LA: Report on a topic or text, tell a story, or recount an experience in an organized manner, using appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive details to support main ideas or themes; speak clearly at an understandable pace.

    VA: Use visual structures of art to communicate ideas.

    VA: Select and use subject matter, symbols, and ideas to communicate meaning.

  • Adaptations

    Encourage students to create a cover for their individual flashlight beams. This cover should be illustrated with an imagined scene representing the original poem. The title of the poem is written on the cover along with the author's name.

    Organize a class reading of original poems. Encourage students to dress up as they imagine a poet would for a performance. Props could also be used. Have each student perform his poem for classmates and parents, if available. Consider taking a digital photograph of each student poem and projecting it on the stage as the student performs.

    Students add illustrations to their Flashlight Poems using Crayola® Colored Pencils.


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  • Creativity.
  • Capacity.
  • Collaboration.
  • Change.
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