At the second grade level, students are getting an introduction to the format of poetry and the concept of a rhyming scheme. In this mini-unit, they are given the opportunity to apply the concepts they are learning to the research process by finding materials in the media center and using them as inspiration for an open-format, rhyming poem.
By Liz Kerscher


Students will:
  • Identify and write a rhyming scheme.
  • Find inspiration for a short poem in another book.
  • Read, review, and revise their work.
  • Use descriptive words to write rhymes and poems.

Indiana Academic Standards

  • 2.3.4 - Identify the use of rhythm, rhyme, and alliteration in poetry or fiction.
  • 2.4.1 - Create a list of ideas for writing.
  • 2.4.3 - Find ideas for writing stories and descriptions in pictures or books.
  • 2.4.6 - Review, evaluate, and revise writing for meaning and clarity.
  • 2.4.7 - Proofread one’s own writing, as well as that of others, using an editing checklist or list of rules.
  • 2.5.4 - Write rhymes and simple poems.
  • 2.5.5 - Use descriptive words when writing.

Standards for the 21st Century Learner (AASL)

  • 1.2.2 - Demonstrate confidence and self-direction by making independent choices in the selection of resources and information
  • 3.1.3 - Use writing and speaking skills to communicate new understandings effectively.
  • 4.1.1 - Display curiosity by pursuing interests through multiple resources.
  • 4.4.1 - Identify own areas of interest.


Day 1 – Classroom
  1. Introduce students to rhyming schemes such as AA, ABAB, ABCB, and AABB.
  2. Use familiar examples to help students identify rhyming schemes in poems. (Some possibilities listed in Resources).
  3. Have students come up with some of their own examples in small groups. Share examples with the class and see if they can identify the rhyming scheme.

Day 2 – Media Center
  1. Explain that students will be writing a short poem about a topic of their choosing. Today is going to be a research day for them to find inspirational materials and create a list of ideas for writing their poem.
  2. Explain that students will need to choose a topic they can write at least ten rhyming lines about. They might:
    • Choose a non-fiction text with facts to incorporate into their poem.
    • Choose a picture book with illustrations to write about
    • Avoid novels - they will take too long to read for this project.
  3. Write down at least 15 observations or facts from their selected material. Students should check out their books and may need to finish this assignment at home.

Days 3-4
  1. Have students use their information to write rhyming lines about their books. They may use any rhyming scheme they prefer to express their ideas. Pass out the checklist (PDF) to help them meet expectations.
  2. As students finish writing, have them trade papers with a partner and use the checklist to evaluate their partner’s poem. Students should use their partner’s comments to make changes to their poem.
  3. Give students the opportunity to share their poems with the class.


Poetry Assessment (PDF)


Bagert, Brod. Let Me Be the Boss: Poems for Kids to Perform. Honesdale, PA: Wordsong, 1992.
Baxter, Nicola. The Children’s Classic Poetry Collection. New York: Smithmark, 1996.
Lear, Edward. The Owl and the Pussycat. San Francisco: Chronicle Books, 2003.