“I” Poems

Benjamin Franklinphoto © 2008 Cliff | more info (via: Wylio)
“I” poems are a great way to extend thinking about a particular topic. February is the perfect month to work on the genre of biographies, what with Presidents Day, Black History Month, and Women’s History Month. After reading a fabulous picture book biography or two of a noteworthy personality, use this I Poem format to build a poem as a class. It’s one  way of assessing students’ understanding of the “big ideas” of the biography. With so many excellent picture book biographies about Abe Lincoln he’s a logical choice, but at my fingertips  I have a  poem about Ben Franklin here and one about Tenzing Norgay here.

These poems can be tweaked for writing about animals as well. First graders at my school are typically asked to do some research and write an animal report. While this can be a challenge for them, I’ve had success with having them create poems that incorporate the facts they learned. Creating podcasts or a Voicethread with images of the animal as the poem is being read might be a great way to take this even one step further.


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