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Poetry Writing With Karla Ruskin

In this workshop, an award-winning poet shows students how to turn their words and ideas into descriptive and powerful poems.


1–2, 3–5, 6–8, 9–12

Activity Type

  • Writing Activities

In the Poetry Writing with Karla Kuskin activity (grades 4-8), students learn to write poems with help from an award-winning poet. Karla provides students with a sample poem, plus writing tips, strategies, and challenges to help them create their own poetry.She also gives students guidelines on revising their writing, and provides general comments, suggestions, and ideas about writing poetry.

Her four-step workshop includes:

Step 1: My Poem

Students can read Karla’s poem called “ME,” from the book, Dogs & Dragons, Trees & Dreams for inspiration.

Step 2: Brainstorming

Karla offers three ideas to help students write, including: don’t worry about grammar – just get your main idea or feeling, or both, on paper and fix things later.

Step 3: Write Your Poem When students are ready to write, Karla’s three challenges get the creative juices flowing. She also shares four tips for reviewing and revising their work, including reading your work aloud to yourself or to someone else.

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 Karla Kuskin" activity, students will practice the following skills:

• 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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