I'm a big fan of discovering the magic in the words of a young poet. I think it's harder to find that magic when kids think poetry has to rhyme or when there are lots of rules involved. There's something rather powerful about free verse poetry. It makes for clever poems like these.
Having said that, amidst a poetry unit full of free verse, I tried something new this year recommended by a fellow writing teacher, Marie, who loves teaching free verse poetry as well. Have you heard the poem "Where I'm From" by George Ella Lyon? It's a heart-felt and unique poem that lends itself to imitation even for first graders. Here are a few first grade examples.
Below is a template that you're welcome to use. Marie gave me a great one, and I modified it ever so slightly. You'll also find many varieties on the internet.
(Click on the picture for your own copy.)
I still love free verse the most, but I'm glad that Marie shared this with me. I think these poems will be special treasures for not only the poets but their families as well.