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Lesson Plans
“Back to School” Poem Booklets: An Introduction to Poems and Storytelling
  • Recognizing common types of texts (e.g., storybooks, poems)
  • Naming the author and illustrator of a story and defining the role of each in telling the story
  • Recognizing and producing rhyming words
Materials Needed
  • Over in the Meadow by Olive A. Wadsworth with illustrations by Ezra Jack Keats
  • Whiteboard, overhead projector, document camera or interactive whiteboard
  • “Back to School” poem booklet
  • Crayons

Make a copy of the “Back to School” poem booklet for each student. Follow the directions to assemble each booklet.


Tell students that you are going to read a picture book called Over in the Meadow. Explain that the words are a poem that was written by author Olive A. Wadsworth. Point to the title page and indicate that the pictures were drawn by Ezra Jack Keats. Explain that adding pictures to the poem can help the reader understand more about what is happening in the story.

Explain to students that authors, or writers, often write poems to communicate ideas or tell a whole story. Point out that many poems contain rhyming words and a certain rhythm to their sentences. Ask students to pay special attention to the rhythm of the poem and how some of the words rhyme. As you read, challenge students to find two words in the poem that rhyme.


  1. Read aloud Over in the Meadow by Olive A. Wadsworth.
  2. After reading, ask students, “Can you tell me what the poem was about?”
  3. Ask, “How did the pictures help you?” (Help students to see how the language of the story and the illustrations work together to paint a complete picture of what is happening. For example, explain, “The illustrator shows the text through the pictures. In this book, the illustrator draws pictures of mother animals with their babies as the author describes what they are doing together.”)
  4. Finally, go back through the text and write down the rhyming words. Point out how they rhyme. (For example, you might point out that words such as “sun” and “one” or “two” and “blue” rhyme because their endings sound the same, even though they are spelled differently.)

Independent Practice

  1. Tell students that you would like them to become illustrators! Remind them that an illustrator is the person who draws the pictures in a story or poem.
  2. Display the following poem on a whiteboard, document camera or overhead projector, and read it aloud to students.
    • Back to School

    • We take our lunch and backpacks
    • And go to school each day!
    • We learn to count and read and write
    • And then we get to play!

  3. Explain that the students will turn the “Back to School” poem into a book, just like the author and illustrator have done with Over in the Meadow! Provide examples and have students share how they might illustrate the first line.
  4. Give each student a copy of the “Back to School” poem booklet. Have them use crayons to add illustrations to each page. Remind students that their pictures should help the reader understand the words in the text.
  5. Invite students to share their finished books with the class. Read the books together, and have students show and describe their illustrations!

View the preschool–kindergarten lesson plan. (Includes all printable materials.)
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