Prairie Activity: Imagist Prairie Poems
Museumlink Web sites used:
Prairie: http://www.museum.state.il.us/muslink/prairie/index.html
Behind the Scenes; Palynology: http://www.museum.state.il.us/muslink/behind/htmls/cr_bot_pal.html
Heartfelt/Handmade: http://www.museum.state.il.us/muslink/art/htmls/hh.html
Other online resources:
http://www.prairiepoetry.org/index.html Marc DuPlan's online magazine, 1996-1999. Bookmark appro-
priate poems for students 8th grade and above.
http://www.mcps.org/linkous/creativity/prairie.html Sample prairie poem by a student at Gilbert Lincus
Elementary School in Vermont.
Objective: After viewing the Museumlink Web sites for inspiration, and the poetry sites for examples,
and discussing the concept of imagist poems in class, students will write an imagist poem that creates a
mental image in the mind of the reader/listener by its desriptive language.
Time Required: two 30-40 minute class periods; one for motivation, Web exploration, and first draft;
half a period or more for editing and other drafts.
Motivation: Lead a whole class discussion on imagery in poems, using some examples. Have students
identify which words or phrases gave them the mental image. Choose a prairie topic, such as a flower,
or a settler's tool or artwork printed out from the Web site. Then have them list words that describe this
object. (see sample poem on page three of this plan)
Discussion questions about an object or image of an object:
What is this an image of?
What words can you think of that describe this image that appeal to the sense of sight? hearing?
touch? smell?
What are some feelings you have when you look at this object?
What words would you use to describe this feeling?
Let's create some sentences that create a feeling image.
Using poetry examples for form, have them decide if the poem will rhyme, have metre, etc., according
to grade level. Tell them they will be writing a first draft the first period, and edit it the second period,
finish it, and read it aloud.
Discussion questions using a written poem: (read aloud by the teacher)
What is the subject matter of the poem?
List the words in this poem that appeal to the sense of sight. ...to hearing...to touch..to smell.
Prairie Activity: Imagist Prairie Poem -- page 1 of 3