The Animal in Me 6th Grade Poetry Project
Almost all children love animals, so to help her students discover poetry and study figurative language, Middle School ELA Teacher Mrs. Mariya Gunda presented a project, asking her 6th grade students to get in touch with their “inner animal.”
They began by talking about the differences between literal and figurative language, and discovered that in literal language you say exactly what you mean, using no comparisons. Figurative language, on the other hand, is full of comparisons such as similes, metaphors and hyperboles.
Then, using venn diagrams, they explored characteristics of different animals to discover which qualities were shared by multiple animals. The students then associated those qualities with their own personalities, using the animals as a metaphor.
“I really wanted them to be able to link the lesson to themselves. We imagined how the animals would react,” she said, explaining how they talked about the imagery that would go with those reactions, getting to the core of the animal’s being to encourage vivid descriptions.
Following completion of their poems, the students read their poems aloud in class, often using body language to act out their animal.
Below are the Animal in Me Poetry Project poems written by students in Ms. Gunda’s 6th Grade Class. Click on the poem to download a pdf.