Ocean Poetry:


Explore oceans and sea life and learn to transform thoughts and new information into various forms of poetry.

Learn new information about the sea and ocean life, the many different forms of poetry, and some of the background history of poetry.


1. A computer with Internet access. Some useful Internet addresses are the following:

These addresses can be used to find various marine art, photos, and information to use for the research portion of the assignment.





This address contains various information about whales found in the oceans.


This is a link that connects to the Discovery Channel. It will help the students find information on oceans and marine life.


This site provides a long list of ocean resources


2. Some type of C.D. ROM or computerized encyclopedia such as Groiler Multi- Media Encyclopedia or Encarta Encyclopedia (research under: poetry, sea, sea lions, sea cucumbers, oceans, ect...) or various other research materials.


This lesson will take approximately 3-5 hours of class time to complete. The length depends on how much time the students will receive to research, write, edit, revise, and share their assignment in addition to the age and ability of the students.


Allow students to search available books, Internet, and computerized resources for an ocean topic of their interest and choice. Have the students research and write down any information they learn about their chosen topic.

After the students have gathered information on their topic, introduce them to limericks and cinquain poetry and give them an example of what they will be doing.


Limericks are humorous, five-lined poems that originated in Ireland. Lines 1, 2, and 5 rhyme. And lines 3 and 4 rhyme.

There was once a manatee named Molly,

She was always playful and jolly

Her flippers were strong

And pushed her along

"I am a swimming sea cow, by golly."

Cinquain poetry is a five lined poem in the following form:

line 1-noun-usually two syllables

line 2-describes noun-usually four syllables

line 3-states action-usually six syllables

line 4- expresses a feeling-usually eight syllables

line 5- synonym of line 1-usually two or three syllables

Sea foam Sea shells

Salty water Sandy Beaches

Blowing over the boat Buried beneath the sand

The wind makes me feel so relaxed How I enjoy exploring

Oceans Crustaceans

3. Have the students write limerick and cinquain poems using the ocean topic they chose.

4. When the students have completed the rough drafts of their poems they will get together with a partner and do a peer sharing and editing activity. During this time the students will read each others poetry and offer suggestion and attempt to answer any questions their partner may have. Encourage the students to look for grammar, various word change suggestions and imagery.

5. After the students’ poems are revised and rewritten or typed, the students can share their poems with the class.


The students will turn in their poems. Poems will be assessed by checking the forms. A successful poem will fit the format of a limerick or a cinquain. Poems must fit a specific poem format.

The poems must have accurate information about the ocean or related information discussed in the poem. This information will be supported by the research that is done by the student.

The students will also be required to turn in his/her notes on the information that was found in the research done on the student’s topic of choice. For a successful assessment, the information in the notes should be represented in the poems. This assessment is strictly to monitor the research procedures of the student.

Curricular Strands and Major Concepts:

Language arts: Learning how various forms of poetry are written and writing their own pieces of these types of poetry. Speech and communication with classmates. Research skills. Revision skills.

Science: Learning various information about sea life and oceans.

Social Studies: Discussion of the background history of the various types of poetry.

Possible Extensions

Cinquain poems are useful in helping the students to identify prepositions.

Check out books from the library or bring in your personal poetry books and share published limericks and cinquains.

Have the students write a brief report on their findings pertaining to their chosen ocean topic. A class discussion could be done on these findings or the students could give speeches on their discoveries to the class.

Students could write these forms of poetry about the slave trade based on the new information they learned through the other lessons in the unit.

There are a number of videos that provide visual images of oceans and beaches with background music. Use of these types of videos may also provide an effective stimulus for this activity. Compact disks are also sold that provide sounds of the ocean. These can be played while the students are writing as an added feature.

This lesson was adapted from: Teachers helping teachers:


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