Holiday Shape Poems

Discuss Holidays (20 Minutes)

Ask students to raise their hands and talk about their Halloween Costumes, their traditions around Dia de los Muertos, and their traditions around Samhain. Students tend to get very excited talking about their family traditions and Halloween costumes. However, if some students are hesitant to talk you can ask them these specific questions such as:

  • What kind of food do you eat?
  • Who will be there with you?
  • What do you do to celebrate?
  • What do you like best about the holiday?

Gather Language (10 Minutes)

Distribute blank paper and pencils. Ask students to write down at least 5 words describing the holiday they just talked about.

Example Shape Poem (15 Minutes)

Write a collaborative shape poem on the board. I drew a heart, and we wrote a poem about love. Students raised their hand and when called on, offered one word to add to our poem. I wrote each word around the edges of the heart shape until the shape was complete.

Individual Shape Poems (20 Minutes)

Distribute worksheets with shapes on them that students can write their poems around. I chose a jack-o-lantern, a skull, and a bonfire. Students chose one shape each. Direct students to use their five words in a shape poem and to write their poem around their shape. If there is time, students really enjoy coloring/decorating the shape with crayons or markers. 



Students will explore writing shape poems with language gathered around an upcoming holiday or set of holidays. A shape poem uses a shape or design to convey the subject or idea of the poem. This lesson plan can be adapted to be used for any set of holidays depending on the time of the year. I used this lesson plan in October, so students wrote shape poems about Fall Holidays (Halloween, Dia de los Muertos, and Samhain).

Education Level: 





Lesson Plan

Time Frame: 

1 hour

Prior Knowledge/Skills: 


Required Materials: 

Paper, pencils, and worksheets with holiday shapes

Literary model: 

"Here I Go Down Circle Road" by Shel Silverstein

Lesson Plan: