A Poetry-Inspired Writing Lesson from WritingFix

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Poems of Condition

a how-to-be poem
that is built with conditional clauses

Student Writer Instructions:

Using your knowledge of adverb clauses, punctuation, and the conditional, you will be writing a how-to-be poem reminiscent of Rudyard Kipling’s “If.” As you read the poem, notice the “if”s you must be, do, and have in order to be a man. Kipling uses one long string of conditional adverb clauses (“If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you”) to teach his son how to be a man.

With your poem, you will use a string of conditional adverb clauses to teach the reader how to be any individual, career, or occupation you desire. Brainstorm a list of people and jobs you can think of, or use the interactive button to find one that sparks your interest. As you write, think about all the character traits one would have to balance, understand, do, or be in order to effectively become that individual or occupation. Contemplate how the perfect example of each occupation works with the contrasting needs of the job. As you, pay close attention to creating and punctuating the conditional “if” clauses.


Interactive Choices for Writing:

If you're struggling to start, click the buttons below for some ideas that might inspire you to launch your piece of writing.


Possible Last Lines for your Poem:


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