Beacon Lesson Plan Library

List Poetry

Michelle Wolvin


Students write a list poem about themsleves using the letters in their name. They will present their poems to the class and create a class book of poetry. Children enjoy the simple structure of list poems.


The student generates ideas before writing on self-selected topics and assigned tasks (for example, brainstorming, observing surroundings, reading texts, discussion with peer).

The student writes informal texts (for example, journal entries, reading response).

The student understands that word choice can shape ideas, feelings, and actions (for example, multiple meaning words, figurative language).


-Poetry books such as
[Writing Poems]. Remedia publications (2000).
Regie Routman.
[Kids' Poems: Teaching First Graders to Love Poetry]. Scholastic (2000).
-Writing paper
-Chart Tablet
-Pencils and Crayons
-Hole puncher
-List poem rubric assessment sheet (see associated file)
-All About Me Template for list poem (see associated file)


1. Collect books on poetry and choose some poems to share with the class.
2. Explore poetry Websites.
3. Make copies of the All about Me template for list poems (see associated file).
4. Make copies of the list poem rubric assignment sheet (see associated file).
5. Have chart tablet and supplies for children ready.


1. Begin the lesson by sharing with the class an example of a list poem.

2. Describe to the class that a list poem is when the first letter of each line spells out the topic of the poem.

3. Begin a discussion of what students know about making a list poem.

4. Allow students to brainstorm words that describe and explain. Explain that these are words that can be used in a list poem. Write these words on the board.

5. Explain to students that they are going to write a list poem that is about themselves. For each letter in the student's name he/she will find a word that describes himself/herself.

6. Using chart paper write an example together as a class. See teacher made example (associated file).

7. Have students individually brainstorm words that begin with the letters in their name. Have them write these on notebook paper. Encourage them to be positive and creative. Students will turn this in with their finished List Poem.

8. Allow students to work with a partner on letters that they are having difficulty finding words for.

9. Provide students with a copy of the rubric assessment sheet for them to follow (see associated file).

10. Move around the room and assist students who need help.

11. Once students have chosen the words that will make up their list poems they will write them in the teacher-made template All about Me (see associated file).

12. Have students color and bring uniqueness to their poem.

13. Students will have the opportunity to share their finished products with the class.

14. Students will turn in their final products, words they brainstormed and rubric assessment sheets. Assess the work.
15. Put together all of the students' poems in a book called [All about our Class.] Tie the book together with yarn.


The evidence is the list poem that the students will write. The rubric includes all of the criteria. Use the rubric to assess students' ability to prewrite, create poetry, follow a pattern and choose descriptive words.


This activity is a great introduction to the different types of poetry children can write. After this lesson have children try ABC, concrete and rhyming poems. Some students may need assistance from a peer.

Web Links

Web supplement for List Poetry
Poetry Teachers

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