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Lesson Plan

Theme Poems: Using the Five Senses

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Theme Poems: Using the Five Senses

Grades 1 – 3
Lesson Plan Type Standard Lesson
Estimated Time Two 30-minutes sessions and two 50-minute sessions
Lesson Author

Lisa Domke

Grand Haven, Michigan


International Literacy Association



Featured Resources

From Theory to Practice



Writing poetry is less daunting when students can analyze a model. In this lesson, students first listen to a read-aloud of Flicker Flash by Joan Bransfield Graham in order to understand the concept of shape and theme poems. Students use the interactive Theme Poems tool to create their own poems, then work with a peer to analyze their use of sensory language. Finally, students print and share their poems.

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Five Senses Checklist: This checklist encourages students to reflect on their use of sensory language in their theme poems.

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Gill, S.R. (2007). The forgotten genre of children’s poetry. The Reading Teacher, 60(7), 622–625.

  • Children need to understand that poetry is not something to memorize, but rather it is an enjoyable way to share their experiences and feelings with others.
  • It is important for children to analyze how specific words used in poems create images in their minds.


Parr, M., & Campbell, T. (2006). Poets in practice. The Reading Teacher, 60(1), 36–46.

  • Poetry is important for children because it is the first genre many children hear through lullabies, nursery rhymes, and songs.
  • Teachers need to provide relevant reasons for writing poetry and expose their students to poetry throughout the year.
  • Structured, formulaic poems (such as shape or concrete poems) help students build confidence with writing poetry and provide opportunities for creativity, word play, and attention to word choice.

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