This little lizard sat on the wall,
This little lizard slept under a rock
out of the sun.
This lizard ate a gnat or two.
This lizard changed colors
from red to blue.
This little lizard dashed fast
off the wall
because he heard
the hawk's call.
I'm still working away on list poems. They are also called catalog poems I started pulling all the poetry books off my book shelf and checking the index to see if the book included any material on list poems.
I did pull out my copy of THE LIST POEM A Guide to Teaching and Writing Catalog Verse, written by Larry Fagin, published in 1991 by the Teachers and Writers Collaborative.
I noticed he has a chapter titled: This Little Piggie (Lists and List Poems) I won't bore you with all the details of this chapter except to say that Fagin points out that we start children on lists with poems like this little piggie, the A B C song, The House That Jack Built and Old MacDonald Had A Farm.
So here is today's exercise. Take a sheet of paper and writing as quickly as you can make a list of animals. Include domesticated animals, farm animals, zoo animals, birds, beasts--any kind of animals you can think of, but only write for a minute. Making one-minute lists is a fun thing to do if you just have a short amount of time. Take any noun--dogs, hats, flowers, food, --and see how many things you can write down that fit your noun category in one minute. I frequently let my students name the category. They are very creative. We've done mall stores, video games and even video game characters.
Now remember the This Little Piggie rhyme?
This little piggie went to market.
This little piggie stayed home.
This little piggie ate roast beef.
This little piggie had none.
This little piggie cried wee-wee-wee all the way home.
Now take one of the animals from your list and plug that into this form poem.
This little _______________went to________________.
This little _______________stayed home.
This little _______________ ate _______________.
This little _______________ had none.
This little _______________ cried _______________ all the way home.
For an example, I can do this with goldfish
This little goldfish swam over the dam. (Notice I changed words for a stronger verb.)
This little goldfish stayed in the pond.
This little goldfish ate flies for breakfast.
This little goldfish had none.
This little goldfish cried gulp, gulp, gulp all the way home.
The pattern is easy enough to follow that in no time, I predict you will want to change the words a bit to make your own variation on this list poem. Have fun playing and please share your creations with me. What is the silliest thing you can write a poem about?