Shel Silverstein: A Study of the Elements of Poetry

Student Resources

Shel Silverstein Signature

Teacher Resources


Background Knowledge



Research Scenario

The third grade students in your school are going to have a poetry party in a few weeks to learn about poetry. Their teacher has asked your class to assist her in teaching her students about the elements of poetry and figurative language. The teacher has found out that her students are very interested in Shel Silverstein. To help third grade students learn about poetry, answer this important question:

Essential Question:
How does Shel Silverstein use elements of poetry to enhance the meaning of his works.

First, you will need to build some background knowledge on poetry by viewing the following video:

BrainPop- Poetry




Task and Product

Your teacher will randomly assign you a studied element of poetry. You will become the expert on this element.

You will be:

  • definining your element
  • finding an example that demonstrates your element
  • creating an original poem written by you
  • presenting and teaching your element to the third graders

You will want to create a presentation in the form of:

  • a poster: Glogster, Pixie, Microsoft Word
  • a Multimedia presentation: PowerPoint, Voicethread,
  • an oral report (with visuals)






You will be assessed on your presentation, as well as your evaluation of Shel Silverstein's poem, explanation of the element, and your original poem.

The following scoring tools may be used or adapted by your teacher to evaluate your research process and your final product and presentation.

Research Process Assessments:
  • Daily (Formative) Assesssments
  • Research Process (Summative) Assessments: Student/Self | Teacher

Group Collaboration Assessments (if needed): Student/Self | Teacher

Final Product Assessments: 





Essential Question: How does Shel Silverstein use elements of poetry to enhance the meaning of his works?

Subsidiary Questions:

  1. What is the definition of your element?
  2. What is an example of your element?
  3. How did Shel Silverstein use your element in his poem?
  4. How did your element help you understand the poem?


Gather and Sort

Use a variety of sources from the Student Resource page to gather information about your topic.

Sort your research findings using this research organizer to record information about your poetry element.

Be sure to avoid plagiarism and remember to cite your sources.



Analyze your notes by using your completed organizer to determine if you have enough information to create your presentation.

  • Is the element defined and analyzed?
  • Does the element enhance the meaning of the poem you chose?
  • Does my poem effectively use the element to convey my meaning?

Synthesize your findings by using your organizer to help you create your presentation.

Create your presentation (digital poster, multimedia presentation, or an oral report).

Evaluate your finished product by using this student checklist.



Reflection: How has your research on your element of poetry helped you to understand the meaning of Shel Silverstein's poems?

Extension Activities: