Friday, September 4, 2009

Poetry Friday: Inspired to Write

Kids love riddles and so do I. Spot the Plot written by J Patrick Lewis and illustrated by Lynn Munsinger is a collection of 13 riddle poems that every reading/language arts teacher should own. It is fantastic for teaching plot!

The recommended age group is K-4, but I never pay attention to that sort of thing. A good book works for all ages. I teach grades 6-8 . My students love humor, and they love figuring out puzzles so I knew Spot the Plot would be a hit.

On Monday, I read the first poem that begins with:

The sky shook,
the wind tossed
me in the air.
Toto-ly lost.

That’s all it took, and my 7th. graders to stretched their hands in the air hoping to be the one chosen to solve the riddle.

The bell rang before I could read anymore. Middle school kids have many important things on their minds so I thought they’d forget all about the riddles. No chance. Tuesday came, and they wanted to hear more “plot riddles.” Not one of them knew what “plot” meant before I introduced the poems

A great book inspires writers, and my middle school writers were certainly inspired. On Thursday, they came to class with their own plot riddle poems (and it wasn't even an assignment)! See if you can guess the stories.

Awaiting a kiss,
from her Prince Charming,
her three fairy friends
were trying to be alarming.

Cursed in a coma,
she had to await,
her true love’s kiss
for her to awake.

After this was done,
there was lots of laughter,
the new princess and prince,
lived Happily Ever After.


A girl with locks of gold
was in a hungry mood.
Despite what she was told,
she went to find some food.

Then she smelled something yummy
which came from inside a home.
Food soon filled her tummy
and throughout the home she roamed.

A bed she found
and took a rest.
Then she heard a sound
and discovered she’s a guest.

Sitting downstairs
were three bears
waiting in chairs.


They know what plot means now thanks to Spot the Plot.

Tricia wrote a wonderful review and shared some of the poems from the Spot the Plot on her blog, The Miss Rumphius Effect. Be sure to check it out here.


  1. Thanks for sharing the kids' poems. They're great! Sounds like a fun lesson.

  2. You've gotta love kids who bring their own poems when it wasn't an assignment AND any poet/book/teacher that can inspire that. Yay!