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Under a Tree, Poems About Me

Eloise Greenfield is the inspiration for illustrated poems about things you love!

  • Grade 3
    Grade 4
    Grade 5
  • 60 to 90 Minutes
  • Directions

    1. Invite students to locate several collections of poems about children, such as those by Eloise Greenfield. Preview accompanying illustrations and titles for several poems, and predict what each poem might be about. Students work in small groups to read and reread poems aloud, identifying elements unique to the author's poetry.
    2. Challenge students to write a poem about the things they love, using Crayola® Erasable Colored Pencils. Encourage them to think about people they love and familiar phrases family members use. Students write a poem, repeating the phrases that they love to hear. Write every other verse to tell something fun about being a child.
    3. Discuss how poets and illustrators choose titles and design illustrations to go with poems. Look through books of poetry to get ideas. Students create titles for their poems that give readers a preview of the subject.
    4. Students cover their work area with recycled newspaper. Use Crayola Washable Kid's Paint to design preview illustrations of poems. Encourage them to make the illustrations bright and full of life. Try using a flat bristle brush loaded with paint to build up a thick edge around the colors and shapes. To keep colors from blending, dry an area before applying wet paint to adjacent areas.
    5. Use Crayola Scissors to cut pictures related to poems from recycled magazines. Attach pictures to painted illustrations using a Crayola Washable Glue Stick.
    6. Students write poems in colorful Crayola Washable Markers to display with your artwork.
    7. Poems are read to small groups of classmates. Each student will explain the poem's connection to the author.
  • Standards

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

    LA: Read and comprehend literature, including stories, dramas, and poetry, in the grade level text complexity band proficiently, with scaffolding as needed at the high end of the range.

    LA: Demonstrate understanding of figurative language, word relationships, and nuances in word meanings.

    LA: Write routinely over extended time frames (time for research, reflection, and revision) and shorter time frames (a single sitting or a day or two) for a range of discipline-specific tasks, purposes, and audiences.

    LA: Report on a topic or text, tell a story, or recount an experience with appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive details, speaking clearly at an understandable pace.

    SS: Describe personal connections to place, especially place as associated with immediate surroundings.

    SS: Describe the unique features of one's nuclear and extended families.

    SS: Identify and describe ways family, groups, and community influence the individual's daily life and personal choices.

    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.

  • Adaptations

    Possible classroom resources include: Poetry Speaks to Children edited by Elise Paschan & Dominique Raccah; Hip Hop Speaks to Children with CD: A Celebration of Poetry with a Beat by Nikki Giovanni; Poetry for Young Children: Robert Frost edited by Gary D. Schmidt & Henri Sorensen Poetry f or Young Children: Langston Hughes edited by David Roessel & Arnold Rampersad; Poetry for Young Children: Maya Angelo edited by Edwin Graves Wilson, Ph. D; A Child's Book of Verses by Robert Louis Stevenson

    Invite a local writer/poet to visit with the class to share his expertise in writing. Prior to the visit, students compose questions for the expert. After the meeting, students post learning to a class blog.

    Organize student poems into a booklet form and bind them. Display the book in the classroom for students to continue to enjoy.

    Arrange for an Author's Day focusing on Eloise Greenfield or another familiar poet. Students work in teams to research the poet's life. Arrange classroom stations where poetry readings are held. Students respond to shared poems with visual illustrations of personal reactions.


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