Lesson 9: Write About What You Know

Getting Started

Many poems use few articles (a, the, an), linking verbs, or pronouns (he, she, it, they, etc.) in their poems. Instead, they focus on the important elements of figurative language, word choice, patterns, and structure.

Stuff You Need

  • Love that Dog by Sharon Creech
  • R is for Rhyme: A Poetry Alphabet by Judy Young
  • a variety of poetry books

Ideas to Think About

  • In what ways do poets relate to readers and affect their emotions?
  • How do poets appeal to the emotions and senses of the readers?
  • What relationships and patterns exist among the words in poetry?

Things to Know

  • Most authors advise aspiring writers to write about experiences and ideas with which they are familiar.
  • You should never copy another author's writing word for word, but you can incorporate his or her ideas into your own writing.


  • Define figurative language (e.g., simile, metaphor, hyperbole, personification) and identify its use in literary works. (LA)
  • Describe structural differences of various forms of writing. (LA)
  • Listen to, enjoy, and appreciate written language. (LA)
  • Apply knowledge of language structure, grammar, media techniques, figurative language, and genre to create, critique, and discuss texts. (LA)

Introducing the Lesson

Today Jack decides to take a risk. Ask your child if he has ever taken a risk to do something when he was not sure what the outcome would be.
Reading and Questions
Materials: Love that Dog by Sharon Creech
Read pages 46-60 in Love That Dog. Answer these questions.
  1. Do you think Jack should write Mr. Walter Dean Myers a letter inviting him to come to Jack's school? Why or why not?
    Answers will vary.
  2. What does the word "inspired" mean in the context of the story?
    Influenced or encouraged by someone.
  3. Do you think Mr. Walter Dean Myers will come to the school? Why or why not?
    Answers will vary.