This writing and art project was authored by Northern Nevada teacher Sandra Young. This page contains the writing portion of this two-part lesson. Click here to view the accompanying art lesson plan.
Black by Hannah, second grade poet
Black is a bubbling hot tar pit,
Like a tall silk hat that was carefully knit.
A puffy beautiful dull dark thunder cloud.
Chirping loud squawking raven.
Keep the fire burning coal.
Tastes like rain.
Smells like icky tar and coal.
Sounds like a meowing kitty.
Looks like rusty black coal.
Feels like sticky icky tar.
I feel like I’m in a cold dark place.
Sandra's Lesson Overview:
This poetry lesson gives children an opportunity to think, feel, and become a color. They are given the opportunity to present their thoughts and feelings from a different perspective and point of view. Recognizing and developing “Colorful” language is also an important aspect of this writing project.
Read, share, and discuss the color poems in Hailstones and Halibut Bones. This should take several days.
Read other literature about color during story time. “Saturate” your students in color.
The day you begin the writing project share Red Sings From the Treetops: a Year in Color . Discuss the words and language used to describe the colors throughout the seasons.
Have the students select their favorite color.
Distribute the word collection worksheet. Review parts of speech and demonstrate how to use the sheet. Go to point number 1 on the worksheet and have students write their chosen color in each blank down the page.
Read the book a second time and have children collect words for their favorite color.
Go back to the worksheet and focus on the verbs collected. Discuss what the students would do if they were the color. Have them add to or change verbs they have written.
Return to the worksheet and discuss the adjectives. Have students add or change. They can choose to use two adjectives or more to describe their color.
Now, talk about adverbs and give the students the option of using them in their writing.
Finally add the prepositional phrases that add more detail to their writing.
Some Teaching "Hints" from this Lesson's Author:
Give yourself and your class time to process color information. Make copies of the poems to read together. My class has a personal reader that we use each day to read and study daily.
*If you do not want the students to get locked into the worksheet for sentence structure you can cut the worksheet up and let the students rearrange the sentence word order. Example: Melodic green singing joyfully with crooning the wind could become Joyfully melodic green singing with crooning winds.
A Few More Student Samples:
Blue by Matthew, second grader
Color me blue in the winter,
Cold and freezy in your bedroom,
Solid and cold outside your window.
The sky is turquoise in the wind blowing so hard outside.
The wind is hiding in the trees on a stormy day.
I like blue so much.
I smell it all around me.
It was good.
I love blue.
It is the best in the world.
Blue is a lizard.
Blue is a star.
Blue is a word that makes me feel good.
What is Purple? by Olivia, second grader
Purple tastes like a muffin.
Purple can begin a happy story.
Purple looks like a water bottle.
Purple doesn’t dawdle.
Purple feels silky like a dress.
Purple is in a test.
Purple smells like a bunch of grapes.
Purple sounds like music.
Purple is like a picnic.
My favorite thing of purple is a butterfly.
I love purple.
Purple is my favorite color.
Purple is beautiful.
I feel joyful.
Turquoise by Noah, second grader
Turquoise tastes like sweet and sour
Candies at the same time.
Turquoise smells like green grass in summer.
Turquoise looks like the blue sky in winter.
Turquoise feels like a kind of feeling.
Turquoise sounds like the cold breeze.
Turquoise feels like a teddy bear’s fur.
Teachers: Do you have a revised and edited examples of original first, third, fourth, or fifth grade samples to share? Photograph them and attach them to an e-mail and send it to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please write "Paper Plate Similes" in your e-mail's subject line.