Lesson plans & Handouts

Lesson Plans, Poetry Prompts & Assignments for Teachers

You can download the following documents for student assignments.

Write a Poem Like Ted Kooser’s “Abandoned Farmhouse”
This assignment asks students to investigate their own bedrooms as though looking for clues to who lives there. It’s great for focusing on objects and what those objects might “say.”

Answer to an Unasked Question
All poems can be seen as answers to questions never asked. Each student artfully answers an imaginative question, leaving others to guess what the question is.

Build a Better Metaphor
Using three different colors of index cards, each student gets to create a metaphor using a concrete noun, and adjective, and an abstract noun, often with hilarious results.

Listening to Poems While Reading Along
How to prepare students for listening to a poem while they read along by themselves (questions to keep, things to notice, etc.).

Poem from a List of Prompts
A list of two-minute prompts to be given one after the other so that students can build a poem line by line.

The “I Remember” Poem
Based on the book-length poem by Joe Brainard, this is a good assignment for homework. Every line begins with the words “I remember . . .”