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Grades 3-5

In this activity, students will put their creativity to work to write a poem in honor of Earth. Distribute copies of the "Ode to Planet Earth" student worksheet. Read the introduction as a class and have students brainstorm what they like about our planet. Next, discuss the concept of an ode and then challenge students to write their poems. Provide students with guidelines on poem structure, such as haiku, free verse, or narrative, and length or word count that correlates with your students' current work. Students can create collages to go with their poems.

Introduce students to odes by reading examples in class. For example, read "Ode to Pablo's Tennis Shoes" by Gary Soto to show students how ordinary items can become the subject of poetry. The poem can be found at http://teacher.scholastic.com/lessonplans/unit_poetryslam_ode.pdf.
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