Students will investigate the characteristics, behavior, and habitat of a particular animal species. They will demonstrate their knowledge by writing poems that incorporate what they have learned.
What You Need
- reference materials or online resources pertaining to animal species
- writing materials
- Animal Profile Sheet (PDF file)
- Animal Cinquain (PDF file)
What to Do
- Tell students that they are going to write cinquains about animals. Write this cinquain on the board:
leaping, pouncing, snarling
I hope I never meet one in the night
- Have students try to figure out the pattern of a cinquain. Write the completed pattern on the board:
Line 1: one word (subject of the poem)
Line 2: two words (adjectives) that describe Line 1
Line 3: three words (action verbs ending with “-ing”) that relate to Line 1
Line 4: four or five words or a complete sentence (feelings) that describe the subject or are related to it in some way
Line 5: one word that sums up Line 1 or is a synonym of Line 1
- Distribute the Animal Profile Sheet. Inform students that each of them is to select an animal for the subject of a cinquain. They can choose birds, fish, or reptiles, as well as mammals.
- Have students research their animals, using library or Internet resources (see below).
- Hand out copies of the Animal Cinquain poetry template, and go over the directions for how to write a cinquain.
- Have students write cinquains about their animals.
- When the students have finished researching and writing about their animals, display their work around the classroom. Include the animal profile sheets with the poems.
- Encourage students to experiment with writing animal poems in other forms or styles, such as acrostics, haiku, or diamante poems.
- Invite students to create illustrations of the animals they are studying. Display these illustrations with the poems and profile sheets.
- Focus on endangered animal species within a specific geographical region. As part of their research, students will learn why a selected animal is endangered and what is being done to preserve this species.
Forms of Poetry for Children
This is the place to go for links to all kinds of children's poetry sites. These sites provide examples of traditional poetry forms, along with easy-to-follow instructions.
Fourth-grade Ocean Animal Poems
Among the poems at this site, there is a charming poem about a sea otter, written from the animal's point of view.
Animal Inn...JUST FOR KIDS!
Here you'll discover a variety of poetic styles or forms used to describe different kinds of animals. The forms include cinquains, haiku, and diamante (diamond-shaped) poems.