Create a List

List Name

Rename this List
Save to


Writing I Spy Riddle Rhymes with Jean Marzollo: A Writing With Writers Activity

In this three-step workshop, the award-winning I Spy author teaches young students how to write fun poems using her simple format.


PreK–K, 1–2

Activity Type

  • Writing Activities

In the Writing I Spy Riddle Rhymes with Jean Marzollo activity (grades 2–5), the author leads students on a poetry-writing journey with her riddle-writing style from the award-winning I Spy series. Using models of her published riddles and photographs from her books, Ms. Marzollo turns a complex writing style into a simple format that young students can copy and extend. Her three-step workshop includes:

Step 1: My I Spy Riddle Rhyme Karla’s riddle-writing exercise has students examine an image and list all the rhyming objects. She also introduces students to alliteration.

Step 2: Riddle Writing Tips Jean suggests students draw, use collage, and/or stickers to create their pictures. She also shares several writing tips for following the I Spy pattern, including: use interesting words in your writing, like thumbtack or hatchet; use assonance – words that have the same “inside sounds” (map, bat, crab); and make sure your riddles have the I Spy punctuation style.

Step 3: Publish Online Students can publish their work, and read other published riddles here. Learning Objectives In the course of participating in the "Poetry Writing with Jean Marzollo" 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

About Us