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Poetry Writing With Jack Prelutsky: A Writing With Writers Activity

Students learn how to shape ideas and words into creative, descriptive, and silly poems with help from children's poet Jack Prelutsky.


1–2, 3–5, 6–8

Activity Type

  • Writing Activities

In the Poetry Writing with Jack Prelutsky activity (grades 1–4), students get a tutorial from Jack Prelutsky, the first-ever U.S. Children's Poet Laureate. He shares tips that he uses when he writes poetry, and guidelines for revising their work. Plus, students get to show what they’ve learned when Jack challenges them to continue a poem that he’s started.

His four-step workshop includes:

Step 1: My Poem

Students can read Jack’s “Louder Than a Clap of Thunder” poem from his book, The New Kid on the Block, and use it as a model when they start working on his poetry challenge.

Step 2: Brainstorming

Jack shares three of his favorite exercises to stretch your mind before writing. He also offers 10 writing tips, including: write as often as you can, carry a notebook and jot down ideas immediately, and write about the things closest to you.

Step 3: Write Your Poem

Jack offers two “poem-starters” for students complete if they’re having trouble starting their own poems. Plus, students can try one of this five revising tips, including: rewrite your poem at least once; if you get frustrated, put it aside; and sleep on it!

Step 4: Publish Online
Students can submit their final products to for publishing! For more inspiration, students can browse poems written by other young authors. Learning Objectives In the course of participating in the "Poetry Writing with Jack Prelutsky" activity, students will:

  • Identify unique characteristics of the poetry genre
  • Practice poetry writing skills such as rhythm, rhyming, and descriptive vocabulary
  • Follow the writing process to create original poetry
  • Understand how to review and revise their own writing

Susan Cheyney

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