This lesson plan prompts students to write persuasive letters and lobby for issues they feel strongly about.
- Chart paper or poster board
Teaching the Lesson
Step 1: In advance, copy the poem onto chart paper or poster board.
by Ogden Nash
Whales have calves,
Cats have kittens,
Bears have cubs,
Bats have bittens,
Swans have cygnets,
Seals have puppies,
But guppies just have little guppies.
From VERSES FROM 1929 ON by Ogden Nash Copyright © 1944 by Ogden Nash. Reprinted by permission of Little, Brown, and Company.
Step 2: Draw two columns on the board. In the left column, write the following words: kangaroo, rabbit, sheep, horse, goat, frog, deer, and pigeon. In the right column, write joey, bunny, lamb, foal, kid, tadpole, fawn, squab.
Step 3: Have children read the words in the left column. Ask: "What do these words have in common?" (They're all animal names.) Then have students read the words in the right column. Ask: "What do these words have in common?" (They're all names of animal babies.)
Step 4: Display the poem in front of the class. Read the poem together.
Step 5: Ask: "Which of these animal baby names do you think is real?" Guide students in a mini-research project to find the name that is not real. (bitten) Ask: "What are baby bats really called?" (pups) Challenge students to think of other animals that share the same baby names as those in the poster. For example, babies of cows, elephants, hippos, and rhinos are all called calves.
Invite students to write and illustrate their own poems using other animal and baby names. Remind them that the lines don't have to rhyme. Let students share their poems if they wish, then use them to create a display. Students will have fun drawing and cutting out pictures of baby animals to make a border. Tack up blank chart paper and a box of markers so that children can write more poems as they are inspired.