How to Write a "Lunch for Your Teacher" Poem
by Bruce Lansky

Here’s a fun idea: write a poem about your teacher! Here’s how to do it. Pretend you’re going to make lunch for your teacher. Make a list of really funny, gross, yucky foods that you’ll be serving. Then you can either turn these foods into a "list poem," or you can turn your list into a poem that rhymes.

Here’s an example:

    What I’d Cook for My Teacher
    (non-rhyming list poem)

    Rattlesnake stew
    centipede salad
    seaweed and jellyfish sandwich
    milk mixed with glue
    a-chooberry pie
    I hope the old bat doesn’t die!

Comment: Non-rhyming list poems are easy and fun to write. But many people enjoy reading poems that are written with rhythm and rhyme. Below, I’ve taken the same ideas and added some connecting words.

    What I’d Cook for My Teacher
    (rhyming poem)

    If I cooked hot lunch for my teacher, (A)
    I would start out with rattlesnake stew. (B)
    Then I’d serve her a centipede salad (C)
    And a tall glass of milk mixed with glue (B)
    Next, a seaweed and jellyfish sandwich (D)
    For dessert, an a-chooberry pie. (E)
    When my teacher finds out what she’s eaten, (F)
    I hope the old bat doesn’t die. (E)

    © Bruce Lansky, reprinted from If Pigs Could Fly…and Other Deep Thoughts published by Meadowbrook Press.

Now, here’s what you need to do to create your own funny poem:

1. Make a list of funny, gross, yucky foods. Be sure you have several ideas for each different meal segment so you can choose the best ones for your poem. Add a funny comment at the end.

    Salads: (write funny types of salads here)
    Soups: (write funny types of soups here)
    Main Dishes: (write funny main dishes here)
    Drinks: (write funny drinks here)
    Desserts: (write funny desserts here)
    Funny Comments: (write your funny comments here)

2.Pick your best entry for each meal segment and your best funny comment at the end. (One student suggested this funny comment: "hearty appetite.") Then turn these segments and comments into a list poem.

3. Show your list poems to your teachers.

4. Then turn your list poem into a rhythmic rhyming poem. Make sure you take a look at my example. Read your poem out loud. Be sure that you notice my rhythm pattern: ABCB, DEFE. In other words, every second line rhymes. (Feel free to borrow my rhyme pattern.)

5. Show your rhyming "Lunch for Your Teacher" poem to your teacher. Be sure to tell him or her that the poem is just for fun and not serious!


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