Skip to contentContribute to ReadWriteThink / RSS / FAQs / Site Demonstrations / Contact Us / About Us



Contribute to ReadWriteThink

ReadWriteThink couldn't publish all of this great content without literacy experts to write and review for us. If you've got lessons plans, videos, activities, or other ideas you'd like to contribute, we'd love to hear from you.



Professional Development

Find the latest in professional publications, learn new techniques and strategies, and find out how you can connect with other literacy professionals.



Did You Know?

Your students can save their work with Student Interactives.

More more

HomeClassroom ResourcesLesson Plans

Lesson Plan

Using the Four-Square Strategy to Define and Identify Poetic Terms

E-mail / Share / Print This Page / Print All Materials (Note: Handouts must be printed separately)

Grades 6 – 8
Lesson Plan Type Standard Lesson
Estimated Time Day 1: 60 minutes
Day 2: 30 minutes
Lesson Author

Jill Woolley Stafford

Jill Woolley Stafford

Woodbridge, Virginia


International Literacy Association



Featured Resources

From Theory to Practice



Poetry can seem intimidating to many students, but the four-square graphic organizer strategy gives students a tool they can use to explore and analyze any poem. In this lesson, students will learn the definitions of alliteration, assonance, simile, and rhyme. Using these definitions and a graphic organizer, they will search through a variety of poems for examples of each poetic element. Finally, students will use what they've learned to perform an in-depth reading of Mary Oliver's poem “The Esquimos Have No Word For ‘War'” and participate in a variety of extension activities.

back to top



Four-Square Graphic Organizer: Defining and Identifying Poetic Terms: Use this graphic organizer to help students identify alliteration, assonance, simile, and rhyme in any poem.

back to top



Brunn, M. (2002). The four-square strategy. The Reading Teacher, 55, 522–525.

  • The four-square strategy provides students with a visual representation of words and concepts in the form of a graphic or spatial organizer. The underlying function is to position several related terms, ideas, or concepts around one central element in a graphic or spatial organizer, then to help students understand the relationships that tie the various parts together.

  • Use of graphic or spatial organizers aids in systematic note taking by focusing tightly on the main idea and subordinate concepts.

  • Visual organization of new information helps students to remember, recall, and apply new knowledge to new situations.

back to top