Why will your students love writing weather poems?
There is one thing we can agree on…the weather outside our classroom windows can be fascinating!
No matter the time of year, the weather can be a source of distraction (“I see a snowflake!”) or inspiration. Use what’s happening outside your classroom to engage students in meaningful writing activities that use engage the use of descriptive writing, vivid language and sensory details —
What’s a weather poem?
You can write a poem about anything — the weather is no exception!
The poem can take any form from haiku to sonnet.
Here are some favorites:
- “Here Comes Summer” by Shel Silverstein
- “Bed in Summer” by Robert Louis Stevenson
- “Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening” by Robert Frost
Why they work
We are constantly trying to get our students to write more descriptively! We harp on them about word choice!
Weather poems are a great way to focus on word choice and imagery because there are so many great ways for us to describe the weather — and so many unusual and interesting weather events.
They are also a fun way to teach hyperbole. Hyperbole is an exaggeration for effect. This is perfect for intermediate and middle school students who love to stretch the truth. Just start with a question like, “How much snow did we have…” or “How cold was it…”
Think of the ways we describe a hot day– scorching, sweltering, blast furnace, burning, oppressive — all wonderfully descriptive and powerful ways to say “it’s hot!”
How to get your students writing weather poems
Do this first:
Start by brainstorming a list of weather events. Your list can include:
- hail storm
- wind storm
- ice storm
- water spout
- dirt devil
- heat wave
- rain storm
- heat wave
Have students choose a weather event to focus on and create a word bank. Your students might need to do a bit of research in order to learn more about the weather event.
Here’s where your students can really dig into word choice!
Encourage students to generate as many words as possible to describe their weather event. This is a perfect time to use a thesaurus. It will provide additional words that provide choices.
If your students do use a thesaurus, you can have them place words on a continuum. In other words — rate the degree of the weather words. Is a breeze more intense than a zephyr?
Once students have their word bank and images — they need to decide on the form they want their poems to take on.
Since this is a hyperbole, they can start with a simple question like “How cold was it?” or “What was the haboob like?”
Quatrains (four rhymed lines) work well for students who may need more structure.
Tips for making weather poems work
Write along with your students. Share your own weather poems with them.
Share the finished products! Have a poetry reading or create a wall display.
Encourage experimentation and creative thinking by using a flexible, friendly rubric.
Allow students to add illustrations or create a collage to go with their printed poem.
Encourage a digital finished product that either a slide show or a video.
Want to give it a try?
You can find a complete resource to help you every step of the way in my Teachers Pay Teachers store.
This kind of quick and fun writing project works well at the start of the school year or during the fractured days before a school break — or as a way to gather your students’ focus back after your own weather event!