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A Garden of Verses-Poems About Class Garden

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Grades: 3-5 Subjects: Language Arts, Creativity Time: 45 minutes

Language Arts Standard 1: Use the general skills and strategies of the writing process. Benchmark # 1: Use prewriting strategies to plan work. Benchmark # 2: Use strategies to draft and revise written work. Benchmark # 3: Use strategies to edit and publish. Benchmark # 6: Use strategies to write for a variety of purposes. Benchmark # 8: Write narrative accounts, such as poetry and stories

Language Arts Standard 6: Use reading skills and strategies to understand and interpret a variety of literary texts. Benchmark # 1: Know the defining characteristics of a variety of literary forms and genres (e.g., poems). Benchmark # 7: Understand the ways in which language is used in literary text.
Objectives: Students will be able to: – Brainstorm ideas, write a draft of a poem, and edit for clarity. – Use sensory details and literary devices to describe a garden. – Identify the various types of poetry.
Materials: – A copy of the poem “Mary, Mary Quite Contrary” – Writing utensil – Paper – Ribbon (to bind a class poetry book) Overview: The poem “Mary, Mary Quite Contrary” describes a very specific garden. British high school history students may understand the
religious connotations according to one interpretation, but younger students will have fun imagining what silver bells and cockle shells look like. Poets have used gardens, fruit, and flowers for inspiration for centuries. Different kinds of poems can send different messages about their subjects. Tell the students about the following types of poetry and for the activity, let them choose which one they want to write. Limericks could find the funny parts of a garden or tell a joke about it; concrete poems could take the shape of their subject; sonnets could tell a story about the subject and free verse could allow the poets to write in the way they want, without even rhyming. In acrostic poems student’s would use the letters of the subject’s word to start lines of the poem and in alphabetic poems they would use all letters of the alphabet in order to start the lines of the poem. The simplest poems would follow a rhyme scheme: ABAB (the last word of the first and third lines rhyme; the last word of the second and fourth lines rhyme), AABBCC, etc.
Kid’s Speak: Poets have used gardens, fruit and flowers for inspiration for centuries, and poems on these subjects can take many forms. If you are the class clown, you can write a humorous poem, if your a story-teller, you can tell a story about a subject (a sonnet), if you are a problem solver, write a poem where the first letter of each line is a letter of the subject’s name, so when read vertically, the subject’s name is spelled-out (Acrostic poem) or let your creative side free and write in whatever form you wish (free verse).
Eco-Fact: Garlic has many healing powers. It can even help protect your garden. The pungent smell of garlic repels insects from your garden.

Procedures: Before Writing Class Garden Poems: – The teacher will read the poem “Mary, Mary Quite Contrary” as an introduction. – If the students are old enough, they will learn the different rhyme schemes and types of poetry to help guide them in forming their poems.
Instructions for Writing Class Garden Poems:

1. Students will spend time observing their garden, jotting down ideas.

2. Students will compose an original poem either choosing from one of the styles described above in the Overview or a style chosen by the teacher.

3. Students can take digital pictures of their garden or draw illustrations for their poems.
After Writing Class Garden Poems: – Students will explain the form of their poem and share their original poetry with the class. – Teachers can bind student poems with pictures or illustrations into a class poetry book for the classroom library.
Adaptations: Younger students can call out words about the garden that the teacher can insert into a blank poem that is featured on large chart paper.
Extensions: – Find other poems about gardens and share your favorites. – Find another garden and write a new poem. Then compare and contrast it to your class garden. – For tips on dietary guidelines and healthy eating habits visit the USDA Food Pyramid.
GEF Community: Join the Green Thumb Challenge on the GEF Community! First, add your school, class or group as a GEF member. It just takes a minute. You can share your poems about your garden with students in schools around the country.
© 2011 Green Education Foundation (GEF) Eco-Challenge Series All rights reserved. Fostering the new generation of environmental stewards.
* All lessons listed on the GEF website have been aligned with the McREL Compendium of Standards and Benchmarks for K-12 Education. GEF curriculum has been developed in accordance with the McREL standards in order to reflect nationwide guidelines for learning, teaching, and assessment, and to provide continuity in the integrity of GEF curricular content from state to state. The decision to utilize McRel’s standards was based upon their rigorous and extensive research, as well as their review of standards documents from a variety of professional subject matter organizations in fourteen content areas. Their result is a comprehensive database that represents what many educational institutions and departments believe to be the best standards research accomplished to date. To access the McREL standards database, or for additional information regarding the supporting documentation used in its development, please visit