Poet-Tree with Words, Wit, and Wonder

April is the perfect time to celebrate one of my favorite topics, poetry. I had the opportunity to observe my intervention students in their regular classroom this week.  In both reading and writing they are studying poetry.

Poetry Mentor Text

Miss Reisinger launched the unit with the book, Words, Wit, and Wonder: Writing Your Own Poem

Author, Nancy Loewen
Words, Wit, and Wonder is recommended as a poetry mentor text by Lucy Calkins and The Reading and Writing Project.

  • In the first part of the book, rhythm, rhyme, alliteration, similes, metaphors, and onomatopoeia are explained in kid-friendly terms.
  • In the second half of the book, six poetry forms - acrostic, cinquain, concrete, free verse, haiku, and limericks - are introduced.
  • Each of the twelve tools presented is accompanied by an example poem.  

Writer's Workshop

As the unit progressed, students began writing their own poetry.  They referred to the mentor text during writer's workshop.

Words, Wit, and Wonder
Pictured here is Tool 7 - Acrostic Poems from the mentor text.  The explanation of an acrostic poem is given in the purple box on the left-hand side of the page; to the right is an example poem, "Spelling Test".

The student above is drafting his own acrostic poem, "Hobbits," while referring to the example from the text.

Words, Wit, and Wonder
Pictured here is Tool 9 - Concrete Poems.  

The student pictured above is drafting a concrete poem in his writer's notebook.

Publishing:  The Poet-Tree 

As students complete a published piece of poetry, it is added to a class book and hung on the Poet-Tree. 

A close-up view of the "concrete" branch of the tree.
A close-up view of the "couplet" branch of the tree.
Students are working on other types of poetry that will be added to the interactive bulletin board as they are published.  What a great way to celebrate National Poetry Month!

Today is Poem in Your Pocket Day.  If you would like to learn more about it, Lauren wrote a great post about it {here}.

Would you like to read more about poetry across the grade levels? Andrea has an awesome post {here}, freebies included!

Do you have a favorite book or activity you use when teaching poetry? Our readers would love to know.  Please share your ideas in the comments.  :)


  1. I'm a huge fan of Doug Florian's poetry. He uses language in a very clever and humorous way. It makes my day when the kids start understanding his play on words.

    1. Susan,
      I agree Doug Florian's poems are cleverly written. My kids love him! I am also a big fan of Jack Prelutsky. :)