Language Arts Lesson

4th Grade Inclusive Class


    The following Lesson Plan on "Poetry" is from my Creative Writing Unit, which I based around Robert Louis Stevenson's novel Treasure Island. To introduce the application of adjectives in writing, I had the students create their own pirate name by selecting three descriptive words and names from a prewritten list. Each of the 25 students ultimately selected 25 very original pirate names, which they used in writing exercises throughout the unit. The culminating project of the unit was the creation and design of television commercial storyboards, which the students developed in small "advertising agency" groups. The students took on the roles of copywriter, art director, and account executive, and presented their commercials to the class.


Student Work


A fourth grade "Art Director" drawing a television commercial storyboard.



TITLE: Creative Writing Unit: "Treasure Island" – LESSON THREE

TOPIC: Poetry: Similes & Metaphors/"Treasure Island" Chapter 3 – This lesson will introduce the student to rhyming and non-rhyming poetry and the use of similes and metaphors. Chapter 3 of "Treasure Island" will be read and discussed.

RATIONALE: It is important for students of this age group to be able to identify a poem and its structure. Recognizing and analyzing types of poems is a tested skill on the state standardized tests. Students need to have an appreciation of figurative language and be able to recognize similes and metaphors as examples of such language.

PRIOR KNOWLEDGE: All students should have prior knowledge of what a poem is, but they may not know that there are different types of poems, such as rhyming and non-rhyming. Most students of this age group will probably have written several poems as class assignments from prior grades. Most students will have heard or read similes or metaphors before but may not be able to define them.

NJ CORE CURRICULUM STANDARDS: Language Arts Literacy – 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 3.4, 3.5

OBJECTIVES: SWBAT recognize a poem and identify whether it is a rhyming or non-rhyming poem. SWBAT understand similes and metaphors and be able to use them correctly. SWBAT read and comprehend Chapter 3 vocabulary and events of "Treasure Island."

HOOK: The teacher will read a poem from Jack Prelutsky’s poetry book "Raining Pigs & Noodles" and encourage the students to express their opinions about the poem, and decide whether it is a rhyming or non-rhyming poem.


Read Language Handbook, p. 40-41, "Rhymed and Unrhymed Poem" and discuss the descriptive lines in the unrhymed poem. Ask if the students know what those lines are called (similes).

Read Language Handbook, p. 24, "Similes & Metaphors."

Do pages 98-101, "What is a Poem?" in the New Jersey ESPA Reading Coach book.

(Handout) Worksheet #3, "Pirate Poetry" – Students should write their own poem, either rhyming or non-rhyming, starring their Pirate Character. Do in class or may be finished for homework.

(Handout & Transparency) Worksheet #3A, "Chapter Three, Treasure Island" vocabulary and comprehension – students should review words.

Read Chapter Three, "Treasure Island," pages 18-28. Call attention to the author’s use of metaphors on page 19, ‘The sound brought my heart into my mouth’ and on page 28, ‘We’ll have money to eat.’

Discuss the chapter events, answer worksheet questions, and summarize Chapter Three.

ASSESSMENT: The students will be assessed on their comprehension of the events and vocabulary in Chapter Three of "Treasure Island" by correctly filling out the Chapter worksheet. The students will demonstrate their understanding of poetry by writing an original rhyming or non-rhyming poem.

INDIVIDUALIZATION: For this inclusive classroom, all printed and visual materials will be modified to suit the individuals. For most, enlarging the font size on all print and visual materials and reducing the amount of type on a page will suffice. The teacher will use a cordless microphone while speaking to address one student’s auditory/comprehension needs. The teacher will walk around the room to assist individual students while they are completing worksheets. Extra work for students who finish the lesson assignments early -–the students will be able to draw and color pictures of the scenes from Chapter Three to put into their "Treasure Island" packets.

(Sample Worksheet)

Name __________________________             Date ___________________

Pirate Poetry

Write a short poem about your pirate, using the three names that you have chosen. Your poem can be either rhyming or non-rhyming, but be sure to add plenty of creative and descriptive adjectives.

Here’s a fun poem to get you started:

"The Sea-Monster’s Snack" by Charles Thomson

Deep down upon his sandy bed

the monster turned his slimy head,

grinned and licked his salty lips

and ate another bag of ships.

* * * * * * * * * *

My Pirate Poem

Student Work