ReadWriteThink couldn't publish all of this great content without literacy experts to write and review for us. If you've got lessons plans, activities, or other ideas you'd like to contribute, we'd love to hear from you.
Find the latest in professional publications, learn new techniques and strategies, and find out how you can connect with other literacy professionals.
Teacher Resources by Grade
|1st - 2nd||3rd - 4th|
|5th - 6th||7th - 8th|
|9th - 10th||11th - 12th|
Color PoemsUsing the Five Senses to Guide Prewriting
|Grades||3 – 5|
|Lesson Plan Type||Standard Lesson|
|Estimated Time||Four 50-minute sessions|
Once students experiment with poetry, they learn that they have another outlet for communicating their thoughts, feelings, and experiences. In this lesson, students are asked to think about colors, while imagining what they taste, feel, smell, sound, and look like. They explore sample color poems, as well as imagery and symbolism. Students use their five senses as a prewriting tool to guide their poetry writing before drafting, revising, and publishing their color poem. This lesson is open-ended enough that students can write free-form poetry or follow a provided template to create a color poem.
Color Poem Assessment: Use this student reproducible to guide peer review, writer review, and teacher review of students' color poems.
Color Poem Templates: This student reproducible contains two templates for writing a color poem.
In "Priming the Pump," JoAnn Portalupi explains "A writer's eye takes in the surroundings with keen perception. Learning to ‘see' means stretching to use all five senses." Portalupi encourages writers to "Stake a claim on something-your desk, the classroom, the lunchroom, your bedroom. Don't just describe what you see, but also include the sounds, smells, and feel of the place" (5). Beyond simply expanding students' perceptions to inform their writing, asking students to include their senses in their writing through metaphor and simile is a powerful way to learn more about their inner thoughts. As Judith W. Steinbergh concludes in her article "Mastering Metaphor through Poetry," "Teachers' guidance in discussing metaphors in literature and in creating metaphor in original writing offers students a powerful tool that supports their intellectual, emotional, and creative development" (331).
Portalupi, JoAnn. "Priming the Pump." School Talk 6.4 (July 2001): 4-5.
Steinbergh, Judith W. "Mastering Metaphor through Poetry." Language Arts 76.4 (March 1999): 324-331.