My students have a lot of fun writing concrete poetry instead of writing in lines. There’s something freeing in the prospect that the words can take on any shape on the page.

When teaching concrete poems, the best way I’ve found to kick off the lesson is to bring in a few well-chose examples. It’s effective to make the poems visible to everyone. Depending on the technology available at the school, I make transparencies or scan the pages and use Powerpoint slides.

Lately my elementary school students have expressed excitement over Jack Prelutsky’s “I Am Winding Through a Maze” and “I Am Stuck Inside a Shell.” Secondary school students enjoy Maxine Kumin’s “400-meter Freestyle.” The end products are a delight to both the eyes and the mind.


Crispy and yummy,
light and new baked out of the oven
a minute or two
whenever people eat it
it’s like something new
its crunch and crisp
it’s like a bird flew.

By Andy, 2nd grade

posted by Amy Lin, Writers in the Schools

No Responses to “Poetry Takes Shape”

  1. Rose Addis

    Good afternoon,
    My name is Rose and I am a student teacher in Portland, Oregon. I am teaching a Poetry Unit to fourth graders and I was wondering if I could use Andy’s poem about Pizza. I think it would be an inspiration and I would love to share it with them.
    Thanks so much for your time.

    • Robin Reagler

      We’d be happy for you to share the poem with your students. If you print it out, we’d appreciate a mention of WITS! Happy teaching! Robin


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