Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Walking Poetry

Julia Balukin


Walking poetry allows students to describe a journey while evoking emotion in the reader. Students gain experience in presenting their work to the class and by listening and responding to poetry.


The student evaluates own and other's writing (for example, identifing the best features of a piece of writing, determining how own writing achieves its purpose, asking for feedback, responding to classmate's writing).

The student uses creative writing strategies appropriate to the format (for example, using appropriate voice; using descriptive language to clarify ideas and create vivid images; using elements of style, such as appropriate tone).

The student understands the distinguishing features of literary texts (for example, fiction, drama, poetry, folktales, myths, poems, historical fiction, autobiographies).


-Walking poetry example sheet copied onto transparency (see associated file)
-Teacher's example copied onto transparency (see associated file)
-Student checklist for each student (see associated file)
-Student response sheet for each student (see associated file)
-Notebook paper for each student
-Overhead projector, pens and blank transparencies
-A CHAIR FULL OF HEART by Vicky Cavin, March 1998. Hara Publishing. *Optional*


1. Make a transparency of the Walking Poetry Example (see associated file).
2. Make a transparency of the Teacher Example (see associated file).
3. Make copies of the Walking Poem Checklist for each student (see associated file).
4. Make copies of the Student Response Sheet for each student (see associated file).
5. Have overhead projector, pens and blank transparencies ready.
6. Plan where you might want to take the class for a slow walk outside to evoke their imagination and creativity in preparing to write a walking poem.
7. Have a copy of the book suggested, A Chair Full of Heart or another poem that might relate to this lesson.


Day 1
1. As you begin this lesson, ask the class if anyone has ever heard of walking poetry.

2. Begin an open discussion of what they might think a walking poem might be. Allow a wide range of ideas for students to think about such as exploring, hiking, swimming, etc.

3. If at all possible, take the class for a slow walk outside, sharing anything they might notice. (A red ant traveling across a sidewalk, the sky above, the trees, the wind, etc.) This will help them to imagine and create their poetry. Return to class.

4. *Optional* Read A CHAIR FULL OF HEART to the class, which is about life's journeys and all of the emotions evoked between a mother and daughter. This can help them to understand how to set a mood as they create their poem.

5. Explain that students will create a walking poem by choosing a topic that is about a place or journey and that they will use language that walks the reader through their poem.

6. Explain that as they write, they are to create a mood. Happiness, sadness, or fear, warmth, or excitement, etc.

7. Next, the teacher will explain that there is rhythm that must be included in a walking poem.

8. The rhyme pattern is the ABCB. This means that the last word in line-A, the last word in line-B and the last word in line-C do NOT rhyme. However, the last word in the fourth line-B will rhyme the last word in the second line-B (in each stanza)

9. There are three stanzas in the poem. You may need to discuss or review what a stanza is in poetry.
*Hint-You may want to use the analogy that stanza is to poetry as a paragraph is to an essay (text).

10. Explain to the class that the first stanza of the poem describes where the writer went and possibly who went with them.

11. The second stanza will describe what they saw on their journey or walk, still using the ABCB pattern.

12. The third stanza will describe how the writer felt along the walk, repeating still the ABCB pattern.

13. The fourth stanza will have a rhyming ending with line two. *All of these instructions will make a lot more sense to students once you show them some examples.

14. Share with the class the overhead of the Walking Poetry Example (see associated file). Stop to point out, by circling on the transparency, where there are patterns in the ending lines of the ABCB pattern. Lines two and four have ending words that rhyme.

15. Next, point out that there are three stanzas within the poem.

16. Finally, write to the side of each of the three stanzas to show what is required in this poem. (See #17 for stanza 1, see #18 for stanza 2, & see #19 for stanza 3, below for specifics as to what exactly should be written to the sides of each stanza to help clarify expectations.)

17. Indicate in pen beside stanza one that these lines describe where the writer is going and who was with them.

18. Beside stanza two write that these lines tell about what the writer saw on their walk or journey.

19. Beside stanza three write that these lines should show some emotion.

20. Show the class the pre-made Walking Poetry Teacher Example and point out all the requirements to help them see more examples (see associated file) .

21. Brainstorm ideas with students, of topics that they may want to write about, for their walking poetry.

22. At this time, you may want to create a class walking poem together to help students fully understand the expectations.

23. Distribute paper and Walking Poetry Checklist to each student (see associated file).

24. Ask students to write their rough drafts on the notebook paper and use the checklist as their guide.

25. Read over the checklist with students and then direct them to begin working on their walking poetry.

26. Move about the room to assist students as needed. There will likely be several questions.

Day 2
27. When students have completed their first drafts, have them swap papers with a peer to edit one anothers poems.

28. Once checked and peer edited, students will write their final copy of the poem in the space provided on the Walking Poem Checklist sheet,

29. Provide each student with a copy of the student response sheet and read over it for understanding or clarification.

30. If possible, take the class on a short walk outside to present their poems. Find a spot that is in nature's (authors) chair.

31. Students will be assigned or will choose a classmate that they will write a response sheet on.

32. Students will turn in their final copy of their walking poetry and the student response sheet. These will be used to assess students.

*Allow for an opportunity to give students verbal feedback on their completed poems when returning the evaluated poems.


Use the checklist to assess the student's ability to:
-create poetry
-follow a specific pattern within the poem
-write for the purpose of entertainment

Use the student response sheet to assess the student's ability to:
-listen to an oral presentation
-respond to an oral presentation

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


Some students may need additional assistance writing their poem. This can be accomplished through creating and working with a peer, helping them to write their walking poetry.

Web Links

Web supplement for Walking Poetry
Earth 2 Kids

Web supplement for Walking Poetry
Kristine George

Web supplement for Walking Poetry
Poetry 4 Kids

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