Pirate Poems


Paper-bag puppets hold original poetry about pirates, pets, or any preferred topic. Young writers put the puppet's arms around their poetry!


1. Poetry is a special way to tell a story. Read poetry written by adults and children. In what ways do poems differ from books or short stories? Sometimes the words rhyme, sometimes they don't.

2. Choose a familiar topic that you love. You might choose friends, pets, pirates, space, or any topic that appeals to you. With Crayola® Colored Pencils, write several words and phrases that describe your topic, including your feelings about it. Use these words as your starting point to draft your poem.

3. Make a paper-bag puppet to act as a holder for your poem. Turn an unopened paper lunch bag so the bottom faces up at you. Using Crayola Washable Markers, Colored Pencils, and Construction Paper Crayons, draw the head of a figure related to your topic on the bag's bottom.

4. Cut out construction paper arms and legs with Crayola Scissors. Attach them to the bag's sides with Crayola School Glue. Save the puppet's body (the long part of the bag) for the poem.

5. Now that you have had some time to think about your work, reread and edit your poem. Copy your final work on paper that will fit on the puppet's body. If the poem is long, put it together like a book.

6. Glue your poem to the front of the bag. Create a cover page with your poem title and name. Glue on the cover. If you want, you can fold your puppet's arms around so it looks like the puppet is holding the poetry. Add glue to hold the arms in place.

Safety Guidelines

Adult supervision is required for any arts & crafts project. Observe children closely and intervene as necessary to prevent potential safety problems and ensure appropriate use of arts and crafts materials. Some craft items, particularly beads and buttons, are potential choking hazards for young children. Avoid use of such small parts with children younger than 3 years. Craft items such as scissors, push pins and chenille sticks may have sharp points or edges. Avoid use of materials with sharp points by children younger than 4 years. Read all manufacturers' safety warnings before using arts and craft supplies.

Scissors—ATTENTION: The cutting edges of scissors are sharp and care should be taken whenever cutting or handling. Blunt-tip scissors should be used only by children 4 years and older. Pointed-tip scissors should be used only by children 6 years and older.


  • Make a "magnetic" poetry corner. Students write on index cards all the words they listed to write their poems. Students play around with each other's words to make own poems or poem fragments. Add words to the collection.
  • Encourage students with special needs to choose pictures that represent their ideas, dictate their poetry, or find other ways to enhance their poetic creativity.
  • Read aloud familiar poetry that students might not realize are poems, such as selected rap songs. Ask students why they think these are, or are not poems.
  • Create a list of wacky subjects. Challenge students to find poems about these off-beat topics.
  • Older students create group haiku by writing five-syllable and seven-syllable lines. Assemble lines into haiku (five-syllable lines are the first and third lines, seven-syllable lines are in the middle). Haiku must refer to something in nature.

Related Lesson Plans

Lesson Plans

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crayola supplies
  • Construction Paper™ Crayons
  • Colored Pencils
  • Markers
  • No-Run School Glue
  • Pointed Tip Scissors
  • Beginning ABC & Numbers
  • Construction Paper
household supplies
  • lunch bags



  • Grades 1 to 3
  • Grades 4 to 6
  • Special Needs


  • Language Arts
  • Visual Arts


  • Less than 1/2 hour
  • 30 to 60 minutes
  • Multiple Sessions


  • Students increase their awareness of the fundamentals of poetry.

  • Students write their own poetry on a familiar topic.

  • Children create a paper-bag puppet on which to display their poem.


Research Canada Standards
Research UK Standards
Research U.S. Standards