"I have always imagined that Paradise will be some kind of library." ~ Jorge Luis Borges

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Second Graders Create Poems Inspired by their Study of Butterflies

This is a fun time of year to be in second grade. The students have many interesting science units going on in their classrooms - ramps, plants, and butterflies. A few years ago, the classroom teachers and I collaborated on a poetry project related to the ramps unit. This year, I decided to focus on the butterflies and give the students a chance to share what they had observed and learned over the last few weeks.  

We began the unit by reading Small Wonders about Jean-Henri Fabre, a French scientist who observed animal behaviors and changed the study of insects with his approach. The students then learned about different styles of forms of poetry. One of the books we used was Wet Cement : A Mix of Concrete Poems by Bob Raczka:

We then explored poems about animals for inspiration, such as The Book of Nature Poetry.  

This week, the students had the opportunity to share and show what they had seen or learned about butterflies.  Before sending them off to create, I shared some butterfly poems that I created, followed by a group brainstorm session about words, concepts, and terms related to the butterfly unit. Having watched the students create their poems, I think that the ramps unit provided more material for the students and will likely return to that subject next year.  Still, there is some great thinking going on here. This is a two week project, so these are still works in progress, but I have learned quite a bit already!  


  1. Neat poetry lesson! I did some 'research poetry' with my third graders this year (simple animal research, words and phrases and pictures about the animals cut out from old magazines, then created a found poem using the words and phrases, all put into a paper bag book). Your lesson feels sort of similar and I am inspired and will definitely keep it in mind to possibly use with younger students. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Thank you! Your lessons sounds fun. Do you have an example of the finished product?