Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Partner Poetry

Jill Klausing


Students pair up with a partner the teacher has randomly placed together. They brainstorm positive characteristics about their partner, and create a poem about one another.


The student uses a variety of strategies to prepare for writing (for example, brainstorming, making lists, mapping ideas, grouping related ideas, keeping a notebook of ideas, observing surroundings, answering questions posed by others).


-Teacher selected and created poetry examples


1. Self-select different types of poetry to read aloud to the classroom.
2. Create poems that pertain to the students in your classroom to use as examples and gain their attention.
3. Randomly pair up students in classroom before the project. This allows for students who don't normally socialize with one another to be introduced.
4. Review poem construction with classroom.
5. Have utensils necessary to document students work while circulating the room.


1. Students pair up with the partner that you have randomly placed together. Three students in a group will work if there is an odd number.

2. Explain that that class will be writing poems about one another as a -get to know my classmates- exercise.

3. Teacher gives poetry examples that she has previously written herself. For example, a Diamante poem about two children in the classroom could read like this:
smart, quick
thinking, running, working
school, track, pool, ramp
swimming, skating, smiling
talented, happy

Another example could be a limerick. A limerick has five lines. Lines 1,2, and 5 rhyme. They are cute and fun poems.

An acrostic poem could read like this:
J-Jumps like a cheerleader
I-is really enthusiastic
L-likes to eat pizza
L-listens to music

4. Teacher allows students fifteen minutes to talk to one another about the things they like to do, what their hobbies are, what their middle names are, special achievements they have accomplished, who their favorite baseball team is, who their favorite singer is, etc..

5. After the time allotment is up, have students make word lists, group related words and ideas, and brainstorm positive words that describe one another. A thesaurus and dictionary should be utilized during this segment.

6. Cirrculate the classroom to answer questions and make sure the brainstorming and writing preparation strategies are being utilized efficiently and correctly. Allow twenty minutes for this segment.

7. Next, have the students decide what type of poem they will incorporate their brainstorming into--allow for them to create rough drafts of different types of poems. This should take the rest of the period.

8. The next day, students pair up with their partner and revise their poem rough drafts. They will read their poems aloud to their partner, and ask teacher any questions they may have about the final product.

9. After the revisions are complete, students will -introduce- their partner to the rest of the class. He will read his poem about his partner, and tell of the new things he learned about his partner during this exercise.


The students should demonstrate that they used the different writing preparation strategies to prepare for their poem. This can be shown by having the students hand in their brainstorming papers when the project is complete. This can also be demonstrated when the teacher circulates the room.
Their poems should also contain
"star" words-uncommon words they found in the thesaurus. For example, "exuberant" or "joyous" in place of a boring word like "happy."
The cooperative learner standard can be assessed by teacher observation, and by having students grade one another on participation. This way, one partner will not be saddled with all of the work.
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