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Lesson Plan #: AELP-WCP0201
Submitted by: Jamie A. Hughes
Email: wjhughes@surfsouth.com
School/University/Affiliation: Valdosta State University
Endorsed by: Dr. Robbie Strickland
             Valdosta State University Date: September 15, 2000

Grade Level: 9, 10, 11, 12


  • Language Arts/Writing (composition)

Duration: 50 minutes Description: In this activity, students brainstorm descriptive words about a person of their choice and then use that information to create a poem. The lesson is an exercise in creative writing that can be used to drum up ideas for more personal poems about people and places that a student knows.

Goals: To learn how to construct a blank verse poem and generate new creative writing ideas.

Objectives: Given a set of questions, students will be able to brainstorm descriptive words/phrases to describe their person of choice. Each student will be able to create a poem based on the brainstormed ideas.


  • pen or pencil
  • paper
  • sample poem
  • Sample poem in .pdf format; requires free Adobe Acrobat Reader.

    Click the icon to obtain the free Reader.

Procedure: Students take out a piece of paper or a journal and write down the name of the person they would like to write a poem about. The teacher then asks them to write a word or phrase to each of the following questions: 1. What time of day is this person?
2. If this person were a fruit, what kind would he/she be and why?
3. What kind of shoe is this person?
4. If this person could be described by a song, which one would it be?
5. What metal item represents this person?
6. If this person were a car, what kind would he/she be?
7. If this person could live in another time period, which one would he/she live in and why?
8. List a sound effect to describe this person.
9. List a personal effect of this person.
10. What land form is this person? (rolling hills, mountain, valley…)
11. What color is this person?
12. List one word to describe this person. (stern, funny, carefree…)

When all of the questions have been answered, students use the descriptive words or phrases to construct a poem about the person. [Students should use most of the ideas that they brainstormed, and they are encouraged to include other descriptive words/phrases as well.]

Assessment: Each student’s completed poem should include ideas from most of the 12 questions above, along with any additional descriptive words or phrases. The effort each student puts into creating the poem can be used as an informal assessment.