Writing – POETRY

Recognizing Poetry

Everywhere in the world there is a change in the seasons. The selection below describes the way they change in Korea.


No Calendar

Deep in the mountains we have no calendar

To tell us when the season change.

Flowers bloom – we guess that it is spring;

Leaves fall, so it is autumn.


And when children hunt for warm clothes,

We know it must be winter!

– Sijo Traditional

Now answer the questions.

1. How does the poet know that the seasons have changed?

2. How do you know that the seasons have changed where you live?

3. Why is the selection called a poem?

4. How is it different from a paragraph?


Writing Similes

Autumn is a beautiful season. In many parts of North America, the air is crisp and fresh. Leaves change from green to many shades of red and yellow. The multi-coloured leaves are blown by wind.


In a high wind the

leaves don’t

fall but fly

straight out of the tree like birds.


– A.R. Ammons


Answer the questions

1. To what does the poet compare the leaves?

2. How are the leaves and birds alike?

3. Does the poet use “like” or “as” to make the comparison?

4. To what else might you compare the falling leaves of autumn?


  •  A simile uses the words “like” or “as” to compare two different things that are similar in some special way.


A pile of dried leaves is like a soft bed

The leaf was as red as an apple.

  •  Poets often use similes to create lively pictures, or images, in the reader’s min


Learning Activities

I. Read these similes about autumn and writer. What’s being compared in each one?

The lake was like frosted piece of glass.

The trees looked as colourful as marbles.


  • Finish each simile below. Write the completed comparisons.

1. Thunder is as loud as _______________.

2. Rain puddles are like ________________.

3. The dark cloud looked like ___________.

4. Winter air is as cold as ________________.

5. The sleet was like ___________________.


II. Read the poem below what season is the poets describing? What two things does the poet compare? What has changed the way the bushes look?

First Snow

Snow makes whiteness where it falls.

The bushes look like popcorn balls.

The places where I always play

Look like somewhere else today.

 – Marie Louise Allen



  • Write several sentences or a short poem that tells how something or someplace changes with the seasons. Be sure to include a simile in your description.

Writing Metaphors

Read the poem below about the March wind. Notice how the poet makes comparisons in this poem.

March  Wind

The wind is a roaring lion,

The wind is a growling bear,

The wind is a howling tiger,

Blowing everywhere!


The wind is a shrieking whistle,

Bidding all things to hurry,

Lifting off hats,

Bending the trees,

Turning things,topsy,turvy!

– Mildred D. Johnson

Answer the questions.

1. To what does the poet  compare the wind?

2. Does the poet use the words “like” or “as” in her compaisons?

3. What picture does this person create in your mind?

  •  A metaphor directly compares two different things that are similar in some special way. A metaphor does not use the words “like” or “as”

The petals of a flower are soft, gentle fingers.

A robin’s song is a message of spring.


Learning Activities

I. Read the sentences below. Underline only the sentences that are metaphors.

1. A breeze is the soft voice of the wind.

2. The tree had many broken branches.

3. The clear sky is a soft blue blanket.

4. Rainbows are colourful ribbons wrapped around the sky.

5. The birds sang outside my window.

          II. Read the metaphor below. What two things are being compared?

Each season is an old friend

  •   Finish each metaphor given below.

1. A full picnic basket is _____________.

2. A yellow daffodil is ______________.

3. Newly hatched chicks are ___________.

4. A boulder in the park is ____________.

III. Read the poem below. To what are pieces of paper being compared?

The wind blows paper

High above

The dirty street-

Wild kites with strings

– Hannah Lyons Johnson



  •   Write a one –line metaphor comparing the wind or items blown by the wind to something else.

IV. Draw pictures of two different things that are alike in some special way. Then write a metaphor comparing the two items you have drawn. Here are some suggestions.

Coulds/sheep              rain /tears                   jet stream / highway

Understanding Rhythm and Rhyme

Rain, clouds, and sun are a part of summer everywhere, Summer comes to both the country and the city. Read this poem about the rain in the city. What tells you that this is poetry?

Rhyme of Rain

“Fifty stories more to fall,

Nothing in our way at all,”

Said a raindrop to its mate,

Falling near the Empire State.

Said the second, “Here we go!

That’s Fifth Avenue below.”

Said the first one, “There’s a hat.

Watch me land myself on that.

Forty stories isn’t far –

Thirty seven – here we are –

Twenty, sixteen, thirteen, ten” –

“If we make this trip again,”

Said the second, “we must fall

Near a building twice as tall.”

“What time to think of that,”

Said the first, and missed the hat.

– John Holmes


Answer the questions

1. How do you know that this is a poem?

2. Which words rhyme?

3. Where do the rhyming words appear?

4. Count the beats in each line?

5. Do they form a pattern?

6. What is this pattern called?

  • Some poems rhyme. A rhyme occurs when the same sound or sounds are at the end of two words. Every pair of rhyming words has the same final vowel sound.

park / dark                   still / hill                       begin / thin

  •    The accents or beats, that form a pattern in a line of poetry are called rhythm. Most rhyming poems have the same number of beats in each line.

If you were a cloud, and sailed up there,                        4

You’d sail on water as blue as air,                                    4

And you’d see me here in the fields and say;                4

“Doesn’t the sky look green today?”                                4

– A.A. Milne


Learning Activities

I. Read this poem. Underline the rhyming words. Then tell how many beats are in each line.

I wander down a country lane,

Around my neck’s a daisy chain.

I look for frogs and play with friends –

I hope this summer never ends!

– Viginia Larrain

II. Here is a riddle poem. Can you guess the answer? Find he rhyming words. Then write a short rhyming idle poem of your own.

I’m the sun in sky of green.

I’m the golden summer queen.

I’m a friend of every child

because I’m strong and bright and wild!


Grown – ups cut me when they mow –

forget they loved me years ago.

But when I’m gone, then don’t you sorrow.

I’ll be back again tomorrow.

– Else Minarik


Checking up

I. Label each sentence “Simile” or “Metaphor”.

1. The fool moon was a glass bulb lightning up the sky.                                ————–

2. Pumpkins lay in the fields like orange beach balls.                         ………

3. The sky looked as angry as the stormy sea.                                    …………

4. Grass is a tablecloth carefully laid upon the earth.                        …………

II. Read the simile below then write your own simile about the rain.

The pitter –patter of rain

on the sidewalk is like

the fall of a thousand pins.

III. Read this metaphor. Write a metaphor about the weather.


are the walking sticks.

of the winter winds.

– Bella Coola Traditional

IV. Underline the rhyming words and write the number of beats after each line.

Watching the Moon

September evenings such as these

The moon hides early in the trees,

And when we drive along the shore

I think I miss the trees the more

Because the moon is coming down

Beyond the branches and will drown.

– David McCord

source:  Harper & Row



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