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Pirate Poems

Paper-bag puppets hold original poetry about pirates, pets, or any preferred topic. Young writers put the puppet's arms around their poetry!

  • Grade 2
    Grade 3
    Grade 4
  • 30 to 60 minutes
  • Directions

    1. Poetry is a special way to tell a story. Share a variety of well-know poetry written by adults and children with students. In what ways do poems differ from books or short stories? How do poems tell stories?
    2. Invite students to choose a familiar topics that they love. They might choose friends, pets, pirates, space, or any topic that is appealing. With Crayola® Erasable Colored Pencils, students write several words and phrases that describe their topics, including their feelings about the topic. Students will use these words as they begin the first draft of poems.
    3. Students make paper-bag puppets to act as a holder for their poems. Turn an unopened paper lunch bag so the bottom faces up at you. Using Crayola Washable Markers, Colored Pencils, and Construction Paper Crayons, draw the head of a figure related to your topic on the bag's bottom.
    4. Cut out construction paper arms and legs with Crayola Scissors. Attach them to the bag's sides with Crayola School Glue. Save the puppet's body (the long part of the bag) for the poem.
    5. Encourage students to re-read and edit their poems. Copy final work on paper that will fit on the puppet's body. If the poem is long, put it together like a book.
    6. Glue poems to the front of the bags. Create a cover page with poem titles and names. Glue on the cover.
    7. Provide an opportunity for students to share their writing with classmates.
  • Standards

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

    LA: With guidance and support from peers and adults, develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, and editing.

    LA: Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.

    LA: Use knowledge of language and its conventions when writing, speaking, reading, or listening.

    LA: Differentiate between contexts that call for formal English (e.g., presenting ideas) and situations where informal discourse is appropriate (e.g., small-group discussion); use formal English when appropriate to task and situation.

    SS: Describe ways in which language, stories, folktales, music, and artistic creations serve as expressions of culture and influence behavior of people living in a particular culture.

    SS: Use appropriate resources, data sources, and geographic tools to generate, manipulate, and interpret information.

    VA: Intentionally take advantage of the qualities and characteristics of art media, techniques, and processes to enhance communication of experiences and ideas.

    VA: Select and use the qualities of structures and functions of art to improve communication of ideas.

    VA: Integrate visual, spatial, and temporal concepts with content to communicate intended meaning in their artworks.

    VA: Describe and place a variety of art objects in historical and cultural aesthetic inquiry.

  • Adaptations

    Possible classroom resources include: How I Became a Pirate by Melinda Long; Pirate by Richard Platt

    Students work in small groups to make a list of vocabulary terms that apply to pirates and pirating. Students endeavor to use some of these terms in their original pirate poetry. In a classroom poetry corner, students create index cards that illustrate pirating terms and attach the index cards to magnets with adhesive backing. Play around with each other's terms to make poems or poem fragments.

    Students word process their individual pirate poems. Ask students to also illustrate a pirate scene on the same sheet of paper that they have printed their poems on. Organize the poems into a pirate poetry book.

    Organize a pirates-speak event. Students create pirate costumes using recycled materials. After practicing in small groups how to present their poems, focusing on voice projections, intonation, etc., students present their original poetry to schoolmates.


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