Beacon Lesson Plan Library

The Color of Poetry

Julia Balukin


This is a fun and creative method for introducing students to poetry. Students gain experience writing and presenting poetry as well as listening and responding to poetry.


The student writes for a variety of occasions, audiences, and purposes (for example, letters to invite or thank, stories or poems to entertain, information to record).

The student listens and responds informally to a variety of oral presentations such as stories, poems, skits, songs, personal accounts, or informational speeches.


-Notebook paper for each student or some type of lined paper for students
-A Childís Garden of Verses by Robert Louis Stevenson, revised edition (March 1999), Simon & Schuster
-Large chart paper
-Have the chart paper ready by taping to the chalkboard
-Several colors of large markers
-Have colored markers close at hand with chart paper taped to board
-Masking tape
-Whistle or hand-bell
-Teacher created poem (see attached file)
-Copy of the checklist (see attached file)
-Student response sheet (see attached file)

*Extension or Modification Materials
-Pastel or white construction paper
-Crayons, markers, paint, or some sort of medium to add color to illustrations
-Illustration rubric


1. Gather materials for activities.
2. Make copies of student response sheets for students to respond to peer presentations.
3. Make copies of the checklist for students to use as a guide for writing expectations.
4. Create a color poem to demonstrate the finished product to the class, assuring that the guidelines are followed, rhyming is used where specified and creative language is used.


1. Begin this lesson by whistling, ringing a hand-bell, or some sort of noise that will gain the studentís attention without using your voice at all.

2. Have the large sheet of chart paper ready by having it taped to the board or close at hand and tape it onto the board at this time using masking tape.

3. Have the assortment of colored markers close at hand and begin with one color and color a portion of the chart paper in a random manner. Take out a second (different color) marker and color in a different area of the chart paper. Continue to do so with several colors, as though you are splashing the paper with many colors.

4. Next, turn to the class, without saying a word still and have a second sheet of chart paper or an overhead ready and dramatically act in a manner that shows you are thinking, contemplating, or brainstorming silently. (Have your prewritten color poem handy to write)

5. Begin writing the prewritten color poem on an overhead or on a new sheet of chart paper taped to the board. Pause from time to time to appear as though you are thinking as you write your poem. Complete the poem.

6. Explain to the class that you have just demonstrated the creation of a color poem.

7. Ask students how many have ever heard of color poetry or who have written a color poem. Allow them time to share what they feel a color poem consists of by looking at the teacher example. Lead them through the brainstorming for understanding.

8. Explain to the class that they are all going to become poets. Poets of color!

9. Read ALOUD a few pre-selected poems from A Childís Garden of Verses by Robert Louis Stevenson the poetry book to the class, stopping to discuss and point out the way the author has rhymed words and used creative language in the poetry.

10. At this time ask a volunteer to name a color. Have another volunteer think of a word that rhymes with the color the first student named. Do this a few times to help students get a feel for rhyming words to color.

11. Explain to the class that they will now begin to create their own color poetry.

12. At this time ask students to take out a sheet of paper and pencils.

13. Pass out the checklist to students that show what is expected when writing their poems.

14. Go over the checklist with the class to clarify the expectations on the checklist. It may be helpful to students to number their lines on the paper to assure that they have spaces where required and the correct number of lines per stanza.

15. Students may now begin to write their poetry.

16. The teacher will need to roam around the room to answer questions that arise. *Expect questions.

Day 2
17. When students have completed their first draft of their color poem, have them exchange papers with a peer for peer editing.

18. When all students have had a peer edit their paper, they will write their final draft on a new sheet of paper.

19. When all the students have completed their poems, they will be given a student response sheet.

20. Explain the objectives of the response sheet and that it is each studentís responsibility to listen to peers as they read their poems from the authorís chair. They will then respond to one of their peers poems, as assigned by the teacher, following the guidelines on the student response sheet.

21. All of the students will have an opportunity to complete their color poems, read them from the author's chair, and responded to their peers on the student response sheet.

22. They will turn in their final drafts of their color poems along with the checklist they were given and the student responses they completed. These will be used to assess students.

*Allow for an opportunity to give students feedback on their completed poems when returning the graded poems with the checklist.


Use checklist to assess the students ability to:
-create poetry
-write for the purpose of entertainment through the use of creative language
Use student response sheet to assess students ability to:
-listen to an oral presentation of poetry
-respond to oral presentation of poetry

The checklist and student response sheet in the attached file will include the criteria for successful completion.


The following art activity can be used to encourage students to further develop their creativity and expression through their individual interpretations of their color poetry.

1. Direct students to have their color poems on their desks. Have a few volunteers read their poems again to the class from their seats. Prompt students to respond to the poems, what they are about, what they envision.
2. Students will then be directed to brainstorm ideas with a partner as to what they might choose to illustrate from their poems. Lead students to find an illustration idea directly relating to their writings. Students will use colors, markers, or some sort of medium to add color to their illustration.
3. Students will be instructed to give their illustration a title. The illustration will has have the students name on it

Suggested to use the following checklist to assess students work or one created by teacher:

3 Stars (Commendable):
-illustration is complete
-illustration relates to some part of the students poem
-illustration has a title
-illustration has the authors name
-student has used some sort of medium to color their illustration

2 Stars (Acceptable);
-illustration is complete
-illustration lacks correlation to the students color poem
-illustration has a title
-illustration has the authors name
-illustration lacks color or is without any color

1 Star (See Teacher)
-illustration is incomplete
-illustration does not relate at all to the students color poem
-illustration has no title
-illustration has authors name
-illustration lacks color or is without any color

Web Links

Web supplement for The Color of Poetry

Web supplement for The Color of Poetry
Poetry 4 Kids

Web supplement for The Color of Poetry
Giggle Poetry

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