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Marci McGowan

Marci McGowan


International Literacy Association (ILA)



Spring Lake, NJ
First-Grade Teacher

"Whenever I'm asked to recommend an online literacy resource that features best practice, ReadWriteThink is first on my list! Lessons are aligned with standards, are clear, and include a variety of resources and extensions."

Marci McGowan's Story
Poetry Writing: Try Partnerships!

When I read Traci Gardner's Composing Cinquain Poems: A Quick-Writing Activity, I knew I had found just the right culminating activity for our unit on poetry and pattern writing. I also was looking for an activity that would allow for shared writing in partnerships. The lesson plan included helpful resources: Apple Graphic Organizer, Sample Cinquains handout, and Cinquain Reflections Worksheet.

One of the strengths of ReadWriteThink lessons is that they are so easy to modify for my particular class's needs. At first I divided the lesson into two class sessions, with the initial time used for reading many of the sample poems offered in the sample cinquain handout and for writing our own whole-class cinquain. We also decided on writing partnerships (some students preferred to work alone) and selected topics for the poems. I was really glad to see that several students wanted to try writing with a partner. I was interested to see how strong individual writers would be able to write together! The second session was devoted to writing the poems using my graphic organizer based on the Apple Graphic Organizer. The next day, students completed a self-assessment checklist and began their illustrations. All the students were engaged, successful, and eager to share. Their writing reflected what they had learned about describing words, action words, nouns, and working together. Thanks, ReadWriteThink!



Related Resource

Grades   1 – 2  |  Lesson Plan  |  Minilesson

Composing Cinquain Poems: A Quick-Writing Activity

Students use themed graphic organizers to compose cinquain poems on topics common in the early elementary classroom.


Story Highlights  

Grades   K – 5  |  Student Interactive  |  Writing Poetry

Theme Poems

Formerly known as Shape Poems, this online tool allows elementary students to write poems in various shapes.


Grades   3 – 12  |  Game & Tool

Diamante Poems

Diamante poems are poems where the longest line comes in the middle, creating a diamond-like shape. The Diamante Poems tool helps children write these patterned poems.


Grades   3 – 5  |  Lesson Plan  |  Standard Lesson

Charlotte is Wise, Patient, and Caring: Adjectives and Character Traits

Students find examples of adjectives in a shared reading. Then students "become" major characters in a book and describe themselves and other characters, using powerful adjectives.