A Poetry-Inspired Writer's Notebook Lesson

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Nash-ing the Animals

wordplay for writer's notebooks with Ogden Nash's inspiration

Student Writer Instructions:

Today you are going to be pulling out your writer’s notebooks to experiment with rhyming words in the style of famous poet, Ogden Nash.  Your teacher will be sharing a number of his animal poems with you.  After hearing his poems, you will be writing one poem (or maybe more!) in your writer’s notebook.   The poem you write needs to sound like something Ogden Nash might have written.

The first thing you will need to do is choose an animal.  Try to find one with a long or silly name.  If you are having trouble, click on the button below to get some suggestions. 

Your next task will be to find some words that rhyme with your animal.  Two great places to look for words are: rhyming dictionaries and www.rhymezone.com.  Try to find at least three or four words to play with and practice pairing them up with your chosen animal until you find a poetic match that amuses you. 

Remember, it’s ok to be creative with your spelling if you can’t find an exact match, just like Ogden Nash.  If you get stuck, look back at either Ogden Nash’s poems or the student samples. Be sure to share with a classmate when you finish!

Ogden Nash


The Jellyfish
Who wants my jellyfish? I'm not sellyfish!

The Eel
I don't mind eels
Except as meals.
And the way they feels.

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.


(It's okay to come up with your own animals for this activity, if you think of better ones.)

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