Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Recipe & How to Make... Poems, Part II

You may want to check out my previous post, Recipe & How to Make… Poems, Part I before reading this post--if you haven't already.

Directions for Writing Recipe and How to Make… Poems

  • Write each direction in a separate sentence.
  • Begin each sentence with a carefully selected verb.
  • Try to use a different verb in each sentence.

After writing collaborative “recipe" and “how to make…” poems, some of my students decided they wanted to try writing their own “how to make…” poems. They wrote poems telling how to make a tree, a forest, a pond, a meadow, soil, a beach, and the Great Barrier Reef. Verbs they used in addition to the ones listed in my previous post include the following:

blow, climb, crash, crumble, crush,
decorate, dig, dot, droop, drop, float,
glue, paint, plant, raise, reach, scatter
scoot, shine, shower, skim, skitter
slide, splash, spread, sprout, stick,
swish, water, weave, wiggle

Here is a sampling of the poems my students wrote:

How to Make a Beach
By Michael B.

Pour salt water around the world.
Splash in blubbery whales,
bottlenose dolphins,
and seals.
Stick wavy kelp into the sand.
Glue red sea anemones to the rocks.
Drop fiddler crabs into the dark blue water.
Swirl in slippery silver fish.
Slide slimy eels through the coral.

How to Make the Great Barrier Reef
By Adian D.

Pour a sky full of water
into the sand near Australia.
Stick anemones onto the rocks.
Decorate the rocks with coral.
Paint the coral tan,
orange, yellow, purple, and green.
Scatter fish all over the place.
Whip crabs into the ocean.
Add scary sharks.
Weave eels through the coral.
Coat the water with invisible plankton.
Plant seaweed in the wet sand.
Slide an octopus
and wiggle seahorses
through the clear water.

How to Make Soil
By Mallory P.

Crush rocks to smithereens.
Blend in warm rainwater.
Crumble in soft tree bark.
Sprinkle with fallen leaves
and soft tiny twigs.
Add squiggly worms
and tough termites.
Stir together
and spread over the ground.

How to Make a Redwood Tree
By Scott E.

Dig a tiny hole in a field.
Drop a redwood seed into the hole.
Cover it with rich soil.
Sprinkle raindrops over it.
Run the roots down deep into the soil.
Grow the trunk as tall as the Empire State Building.
Sprout strong branches out from the trunk.
Sprinkle short green needles over the branches.
Climb chipmunks up its trunk into a small hole.
Scoot squirrels over its branches.
Float eagles around the treetop in the sky.

How to Make a Tree
By Nika S.

Take a seed,
a sugar maple seed,
and drop it into a hole.
Cover it up with alayer
of brown dirt.
Let the sun warm it
and the rain cool it.
Dig its roots into the soft soil.
Let it grow to the highest height.
Coat the tree with rough brown bark.
Reach its branches to the sky.
Dot the branches with leaves.
Let birds sit on the top of the tree
and sing to each other.

How to Make a Forest
By Emily T.

Scatter oak, vibernum, pine, apple,
and maple seeds
over some rich soil.
Add minerals
to the chocolate brown soil.
Shower warm rain water
over the seeds.
Shine sunlight down on them.
Let the seeds grow tall.
Cover their stumps with fungus.
Sprinkle rocks on the ground.
Dust fallen logs with termites.
Spread shade all around.
Blow cool breezes
through the trees
and watch the leaves dance.

NOTE: All of these poems were written in October of 1996.


jama said...

I love the idea of recipe and how to make poems! Your students have really gathered up some wonderful images/ingredients.

Elaine Magliaro said...


I bet you could write some of your "real" recipes in poetry.

One thing I always did was to immerse my students in poetry throughout the year. I think they absorbed poetic language through a process of osmosis.

Anonymous said...

I'm hosting something similar on my blog tomorrow,


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