MnSTEP Teaching Activity Collection > MnSTEP Activities > Writing Poems from Dragonfly Facts

Writing Poems from Dragonfly Facts

Mary Jo Taintor
Kelley Elementary
Silver Bay, Minnesota
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In this first grade creative writing assignment, the students will write poems based upon facts about dragonflies. The facts will be taken from lessons learned in a previous scientific study of the dragonfly insect. The poems will include rhyming words and patterns.

Learning Goals

1. Students will listen to, analyze, and visualize a poem. 2. Students will create poems with similar rhymes and rhyming patterns using familiar scientific data for the content. 3. Students will understand that the facts incorporated into their poems are real and not pretend (created from their imagination).

Context for Use

This first grade activity is done in late spring at the culmination of a science unit about dragonflies. Students will have had prior experience in writing poems with rhyming words and rhyming patterns. The assignment will need approximately one hour to complete.

Subject: Biology
Resource Type: Activities:Classroom Activity
Special Interest: Data, models, or simulations:Data
Grade Level: Primary (K-2)

Description and Teaching Materials

1. Read and discuss "Green Darner" and "Fly, Dragonfly, Fly!" from "Song of the Water Boatman" by Joyce Sidman (Houghton Mifflin Co., 2005).
2. As a class, discuss (review) and list dragonfly facts.
3. As a class create a sample poem about dragonflies. Refer to the list of dragonfly facts for ideas and content. 4. Using "Green Darner", "Fly, Dragonfly, Fly" and the class poem as examples, students will write individual poems about dragonflies. 5. Students will present their poems to the class. 6. Optional: individual poems may be combined in a class book. Add illustrations!

Teaching Notes and Tips

This activity may be used to further instruct about the difference between "real" and "pretend", an important concept for first graders. The facts in the poems must be REAL, as well as descriptive!


The assessment will include analysis of each student's work in regards to rhyming words and rhyming pattern. The assessment will also analyze whether or not the information presented in each student's dragonfly poem is based upon actual scientific data about dragonflies.


Reading and Literature IA7 - generate rhyming words in a rhyming pattern.
Reading and Literature IIA1b - write to express meaning with poetry.
Reading and Literature IIA1c - record information. Life Science IV.B.1 - observe plant and animal life cycles.

References and Resources

"Song of the Water Boatman" by Joyce Sidman (Houghton Mifflin Co., 2005).