Purpose of Poetry:  To express ideas and feelings and to entertain the reader 


Elements of Poetry

Rhythm - the beat of a poem's words and syllables


Onomatopoeia-words that imitate sounds 

Imagery - sensory details 

Sound Effects - Rhyme (words that have the same end sound)

Text Structure - Lines and Stanzas 

Figurative Language - Simile (compares unlike things using like or as)  and Metaphor (compares unlike things) 


Poetry Text Structure

Words are arranged in lines and groups of lines called stanzas. 



I Am Offering this Poem


I am offering this poem to you,

since I have nothing else to give.

Keep it like a warm coat

when winter comes to cover you,

or like a pair of thick socks

the cold cannot bite through,


                         I love you,


I have nothing else to give you,

so it is a pot full of yellow corn

to warm your belly in winter,

it is a scarf for your head, to wear

over your hair, to tie up around your face,


                         I love you,


Keep it, treasure this as you would

if you were lost, needing direction,

in the wilderness life becomes when mature;

and in the corner of your drawer,

tucked away like a cabin

in dense trees, come knocking,

and I will answer, give you directions,

and let you warm yourself by this fire,

rest by this fire, and make you feel safe


                         I love you,


It’s all I have to give,

and all anyone needs to live,

and to go on living inside,

when the world outside

no longer cares if you live or die;



                         I love you.


Jimmy Santiago Baca, "I Am Offering This Poem" from Immigrants in Our Own Land and Selected Early Poems. Copyright © 1990 by Jimmy Santiago Baca. Reprinted by permission of Jimmy Santiago Baca.

Source: Immigrants in Our Own Land and Selected Early Poems (New Directions Publishing Corporation, 1990)







The Letter A


The letter A is awesome!

It simply is the best.

Without an A, you could not get

an A+ on a test.

You’d never see an acrobat

or eat an apple pie.

You couldn’t be an astronaut

or kiss your aunt goodbye.

An antelope would not exist.

An ape would be unknown.

You’d never hear a person

say “Afraid” or “All Alone”.

The A’s in avocado

would completely disappear

and certain words would be forgot

like “ankle”, “arm”, and “ear”.


Without the A, you couldn’t aim

an arrow in the air.

You wouldn’t ask for apricots

or almonds at a fair.

Aruba and Australia

would be missing from a map.

You’d never use an ATM,

an apron, or an app.

The arctic fox and aardvark

would be absent from the zoo,

and vowels, as you know them,

would be E, I, O, and U.

There wouldn’t be an A chord

on the instruments you play.

Let’s appreciate, admire,

and applaud the letter A!


The Silliest Teacher in School


Our teacher gave detention

to the fountains in the hall.

She handed extra homework

to the artwork on the wall.


We saw her point a finger

at a banner and a sign.

She said their bad behavior

was completely out of line.


The principal approached her

and said, “What is all this fuss?

I heard you tried to punish

all the tires on a bus.


“You’ve made the teachers angry

by disrupting all their classes,

so if you want to keep this job,

you have to wear your glasses!”



“The Silliest Teacher in School” © 2009 by Darren Sardelli. Reprinted from Galaxy Pizza and Meteor Pie. Copyright © 2009 by Laugh-A-Lot Books. Used with permission from Darren Sardelli.







Eating Words


When you know

that vore means eat,

you will know

that insectivores feed

            on grasshoppers, moths, and butterflies,

            mosquitoes, bees, and plain-old flies.


When you know

that carni means meat,

you will know

that carnivores eat

            snakes and lizards, deer and lamb,

            carrion, birds, fish, and ham.


When you know

that herb means plant,

you will know

that herbivores CAN'T

            eat anything that moves on a foot,

            just foods that spring up from a root.


When you know

that omni means all,

you will know

that omnivores call



            they can suck or chew—

            sometimes even me or you—




Katherine Hauth, "Eating Words" from What’s for Dinner. Copyright © 2011 by Katherine Hauth.  Reprinted by permission of Charlesbridge.

The Dentist and the Crocodile


The crocodile, with cunning smile, sat in the dentist’s chair.

He said, “Right here and everywhere my teeth require repair.”

The dentist’s face was turning white. He quivered, quaked and shook.

He muttered, “I suppose I’m going to have to take a look.”

“I want you”, Crocodile declared, “to do the back ones first.

The molars at the very back are easily the worst.”

He opened wide his massive jaws. It was a fearsome sight—

At least three hundred pointed teeth, all sharp and shining white.

The dentist kept himself well clear. He stood two yards away.

He chose the longest probe he had to search out the decay.

“I said to do the back ones first!” the Crocodile called out.

“You’re much too far away, dear sir, to see what you’re about.

To do the back ones properly you’ve got to put your head

Deep down inside my great big mouth,” the grinning Crocky said.

The poor old dentist wrung his hands and, weeping in despair,

He cried, “No no! I see them all extremely well from here!”

Just then, in burst a lady, in her hands a golden chain.

She cried, “Oh Croc, you naughty boy, you’re playing tricks again!”

“Watch out!” the dentist shrieked and started climbing up the wall.

“He’s after me! He’s after you! He’s going to eat us all!”

“Don’t be a twit,” the lady said, and flashed a gorgeous smile.

“He’s harmless. He’s my little pet, my lovely crocodile.”


Roald Dahl, "The Dentist and the Crocodile" from Rhyme Stew, published by Penguin Random House LLC. Copyright © 1989 by Roald Dahl.  Reprinted by permission of David Higham Associates, Ltd..



My Doggy Ate My Essay


My doggy ate my essay.

He picked up all my mail.

He cleaned my dirty closet

and dusted with his tail.


He straightened out my posters

and swept my wooden floor.

My parents almost fainted

when he fixed my bedroom door.


I did not try to stop him.

He made my windows shine.

My room looked like a palace,

and my dresser smelled like pine.


He fluffed up every pillow.

He folded all my clothes.

He even cleaned my fish tank

with a toothbrush and a hose.


I thought it was amazing

to see him use a broom.

I’m glad he ate my essay

on “How to Clean My Room.”



“My Doggy Ate My Essay” © 2009 by Darren Sardelli. Reprinted from Galaxy Pizza and Meteor Pie, Copyright © 2009 by Laugh-A-Lot Books. Used with permission from Darren Sardelli.