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Grade: Middle

#3190. Dicey Poetry

Reading/Writing, level: Middle
Posted Mon Jul 26 11:28:07 PDT 2004 by Sherri Kulpa (
Nipher Middle School, Kirkwood, USA
Materials Required: cubed shaped boxes, markers
Activity Time: one class period
Concepts Taught: writing poetry, vocabulary

Before class, use the markers to write words on each side of the cubes. Words such as shatters, crystalize, dappled, river, waves, etc. work well for poetry. I color code the cubes so that the words in red are adjectives, the words in blue are nouns, etc. You could also adapt this activity for a literature unit using vocabulary words from the reading or words that describe various literary elements.

Students can work alone or in groups. If you have enough cubes, each group can have a cube representing each part of speech. If cubes are limited, students can pass the cubes from group to group.

Each student takes turns rolling the cubes and recording the words that appear on the top of the cubes. The teacher selects a number of rolls appropriate for the assignment---I usually allow two rolls per student for each part of speech.

After rolling and recording the words, the students then create a poem using the words from their collection. You may decide if students must use all words or if words can be omitted.

The resulting poems are great examples of blank verse poetry. We usually have a contest and select the most interesting poem for each class.