Capturing Children's Thoughts

  1. Begin the lesson by asking the children what “imagination” means.
  2. Ask the kids to find their own creative space by making a bubble around themselves with their arms.
  3. Ask the children to close their eyes and to imagine different colors, sounds, textures, smells, etc. You may want to write a list which may include such prompts as “blue”, “raindrops”, “onions”, “sandy” or “slimy” in advance.
  4. Play some soft music in the background if you wish.
  5. Ask the kids to glue their feet to the ground. (Make an ordeal of inspecting each child to ensure feet are properly glues. They like this.)
  6. Ask the children to sway in one spot like a tree in the wind until the music stops. Each time you stop the music, ask the children to pull a new object from the sky, such as a head of lettuce or a big sun. The possibilities are endless: a star, a UFO, the kitchen sink, a running shoe, an imaginary friend.
  7. Encourage the kids to describe their objects after they have pulled them from the sky. For example: What does your big sun look like? Feel like? Record their answers.
  8. Encourage the kids to close up their bubble for the day and return to the circle. Read a few poems.
  9. Begin a conversation about what “imagination” means with questions like these: What do we use our imaginations for? Do we like our imaginations? Why? Why not?
    1. If you were a butterfly and could fly anywhere in the world, where would you fly?
    2. If you could build a spaceship what would you build it with? How many bumbles can you fit between your knees?
    3. What does the grass smell like after it rains?
    4. If you could bring all of your imaginary friends a new planet, what would you call your planet? What does it look like? Who’s there?
  10. Record the children’s’ responses on the flip chart and begin to make a poem using their thoughts. For example, “I can fit 100 bees/ between my knees/ I’ve got wasps between my sheets/ Ever seen a beet with feet?”
  11. Make copies of the new poems to put in the children’s’ chapbooks so they can take them home to share with their families. (See Lesson 5: My Very Own Chapbook of Poems.) 



to encourage children to use their imaginations

Education Level: 





Lesson Plan

Time Frame: 

20-25 minutes

Prior Knowledge/Skills: 


Required Materials: 

flip chart, boom box, markers, tapes of soft music

Literary model: 

Langston Hughes, Dennis Lee, Juan Felipe Herrera, Shel Silverstein

Lesson Plan: