How to Write a Unique Talent Poem
 
by Bruce Lansky
 
How to Write Unique Talent Poems

One of my favorite things to do when I visit schools is write talent show poems with fourth and fifth grade students. To start, list all the unique talents (the weirder the better) that kids have, like:

 

  • burping the ABCs
  • playing “Chopsticks” on the piano
  • cutting the cheese
  • gobbling down food quickly
  • wiggling their ears
  • doing the splits
  • drinking chocolate milk while giggling

Once you’ve listed the talents you and your classmates possess, pick a rhythm and rhyme pattern. I like one that you can sing to the tune of “Miss Suzy Had a Brother” (AKA “Miss Lucy Had a Brother”). It goes like this:


Miss Suzy had a brother.

His name was Tiny Tim.
She threw him in the bathtub...
to see if he could swim.

Even if you don’t know the tune, you can see that there are three beats in each line and the rhyme pattern for each stanza is ABCB (which means that the last word in the fourth line rhymes with the last word in the second line).

Here’s a poem about a kid who could burp the ABCs that I wrote with Mr. Johnson’s fourth graders from the Roanoke Avenue School in Riverhead, New York:

Josh can burp the ABCs,

but his breath’s not the best.
We had to clear the classroom, and

we missed a spelling test.

Here’s another gross one:

When David starts to giggle,

he knows he shouldn’t drink.
His chocolate milk shoots out his nose

and makes his clothing stink.

Make your own list of weird talents, sing the song, and write your own unique talent poem. 

 

 

© 2009 Bruce Lansky. Text reprinted by permission of the author. Permission is given for individual school classes to use this lesson and to make as many copies of the lesson as are needed for the students’ use. All other reproduction is prohibited under penalty of law. For use outside individual classes, please contact info@meadowbrookpress.com. All rights reserved.


 

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