Concrete Poems

After reading a couple of poems that were shaped like the objects they described, including “The Apple” by S.C. Rigg (a pseudonym of author Sharon Creech), my sixth-graders and I wrote a concrete poem of our own.

First we came up with a list of things that had interesting shapes: sun, train, window, door, chair, snake. The sun won the class vote.

Next, I asked the kids to brainstorm phrases describing the sun and write them on pieces of paper. Then I walked around the room, borrowing bits and pieces from each student, drew a spiral on the board and wrote:

Shaped like a circle,
hot as fire
and brighter than a star,
the heat can fry you like a steak—
and make you dead.
Bright, bright,
the sun gives us daylight,
spinning like a wheel in the sky.

Not too shabby for our first effort.

Of course, our little sun poem doesn’t even come close to the quality of a Shakespeare sonnet, but we had fun teasing language into shape.

I think we’ll do some more teasing.

Soon.

Posted on November 17, 2009, in poetry, writing. Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. I like it. Great result and nice teaching moment.
    I bet it kept their attention too.

  2. I think writing poems in the shape of what they are about draws you in more and gives the poem much more meaning and impact, but the words could be difficult to read if the poem is long and the shape small.

  3. In my country, concrete poem is not popular. The teacher likes to teach narrative poem (or xeroxism)

  1. Pingback: Concrete Poems « Magical Mystical Teacher | Poems

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