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Metaphor-Making Poem #9

9-12 Teacher Strategies to Increase Writing Skills





Authentic Writing

  • Provide opportunity to write for different audiences and for a variety of purposes.

  • Allow students to analyze models and examples of a particular form in order to create a similar piece.

  • Include a variety of real-world forms (e.g. letters to the editor, resumes, reviews, etc.).

  • Ensure that students have experience with the writing process...


Writing Instruction


Essential Element Writing


Framework Refer to box below





Authentic writing

W.5.9.2, W.5.10.2

W.5.9.5, W.5.10.5, W.5.11.5, W.5.12.5

W.5.9.6, W.5.10.6, W.5.11.6, W.5.12.6

W.5.9.7, W.5.10.7, W.5.11.7, W.5.12.7

Strand: Writing, Standard 4: Process

Articles, editorials, letters to the editor, speeches, letters, proposals, reviews, personal narratives, memoirs, personal essays, poems, short stories, plays, scripts, business plans, how-to manuals, memos, resumes, e-mails

SREB Literacy Across the Curriculum


Authentic Writing Assessment


Because the goal of authentic writing is to communicate successfully with a targeted readership for a specific purpose, rubrics to assess authentic writing would consist of the following elements:


  • Interesting leads inviting the reader into the piece. Writers must “hook” their readers to accomplish their purpose. To engage readers, writers turn to a variety of strategies, such as statistics, quotations, scenarios, dialogues, descriptions of people, connections to current events and issues, or use of rhetorical questions.


  • Focused purpose for the writing. Effective writers communicate a clear sense of why the piece was written. Writers are most successful in doing this when they connect with the interests of the targeted readership.


  • Idea development and supporting details. Writers develop original ideas effectively. To communicate those ideas to readers, they use reasons, facts, examples, personal experiences, charts, diagrams, illustrations, sensory details, quotations from interviews, setting details, checklists, analogies, or references to past events.


  • Organization and presentation. Effective writing flows from one idea to the next: sentence to sentence, paragraph to paragraph, item to item. The physical appearance of text on the page also influences the reader. Effective writers meet the organizational needs of their readers with paragraphs, bulleted lists, headings and subheads, boxed information, diagrams, charts or illustrations, transitions, creative use of white space, or boldface type.


  • Diverse sentences. Effective writers purposefully create sentences with a variety of lengths, beginnings and complexity. They make sure sentences convey a complete thought to the reader. Any fragments are inserted for a specific impact.


  • Language precision. Writing manuals agree: effective writers use strong verbs and precise nouns. They choose adjectives and adverbs carefully and sparingly. Effective writers also define unfamiliar terms for readers and make word choices appropriate for their targeted audiences. They pay attention to conventional usage (subject-verb and pronoun-antecedent agreement). In technical pieces, the vocabulary is not only clear – it is correct.


  • Mechanical correctness. Writers “honor” their readers by presenting ideas clearly, adhering closely to standard conventions of correctness: correct spelling, punctuation, paragraphing of dialogue and capitalization. They appropriately document words or ideas clearly, adhering closely to standard conventions of correctness: correct spelling, punctuation, paragraphing of dialogue and capitalization. They appropriately document words or ideas taken from other sources. Writers “honor” themselves by putting the necessary finishing touches on what they have to say.


  • Provocative endings. Successful writing should leave the reader with more to consider. Writers use different strategies to stimulate the reader’s mind: rhetorical questions, reflective passages, projected outcomes and attempts to connect to the reader’s own experience or calls to action.



Tiers II & III Additions/Accommodations/Modifications

  • Students can be instructed to write less complex sentences and use shorter sentences to convey their thoughts. Less paragraphs can be assigned also. Student can ask a student peer or paraprofessional to edit for grammar and spelling. Also, the student can have access to word processing technology as they revise, edit, and publish.



Tiers IV & V Modifications

  • Allow student to work with a student peer or paraprofessional and either dictate or use a tape recorder to record responses to a particular activity. Students may use any electronic means; such as, a computer, AlphaSmart, etc., to revise, edit, and publish as needed.


Metaphor-Making Poem #9

(Example of an Authentic Writing Lesson)



  1. Choose one of the following emotions: shame, trust, apathy, sloth, commitment, faith, love, happiness, anger, content, fear, desperation, peace, patriotism, envy, pride. Or you may select an emotion not listed here as long as it is different from any of our examples.


  1. Refer to the list of categories listed below. Create a concrete, specific image that matches each category; refer to the example for help; you may include several images for the same category if you wish. As you progress with making your list, you may find that many of the images seem to relate to each other, or it may appear that your list includes details that are completely unrelated. Don’t try to censor any thoughts; try for fresh ideas and original images rather that the ones stereotypically associated with an emotion.


Color: Shape:


Texture: Object:


Smell: Taste:


Sound: Place:


Building: Clothing:


Song: Movie:


Vehicle: Animal:


Food: Person:


  1. After you complete your list of images, select several that can be woven together and write a prose passage in which you create a metaphor for the emotion. Begin with “Honor is. . .” or “Love is. . .” or “Envy is. . .” Try for a fresh approach. Don’t settle for trite, overused images like “Love is a red rose given underneath a rainbow” or “Peace is a white dove on a beam of light.” Remember, you are creating a metaphor; stick to concrete images, word pictures. Look at the example for help with writing your sentence.


  1. Revise your prose passage so that it becomes a poem. Notice in the example how the prose passage becomes lines of poetry with fewer words, different words, and less punctuation.


Metaphor-Making Poem




Emotion: Honor

Color: red, white and blue

Shape: circle

Texture: granite

Object: white cross tombstone

Smell: freshly mowed grass

Taste: iron

Sound: bugle playing “Taps,” snap of a flag in a stiff breeze,

click of a soldier’s heels

Place: Arlington National Cemetery

Building: Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

Clothing: handkerchief, yellow ribbon

Song: “America”

Movie: Saving Private Ryan

Vehicle: horse-drawn caisson

Animal: old Jack Russell terrier

Food: cold water

Person: elderly couple, military guardsman at the tomb


Prose Passage: Honor is the click of the guard’s heels as he pivots to pace another length of the tomb; it is a handkerchief the old man gives his wife to wipe away the dust on the small white cross; it is the snap of the flag in the freshening breeze and the creak of the caisson moving over freshly-mowed grass to a raw gap in the earth.






The guard clicks his heels, pivots smartly to measure another length of the


The flag snaps in the freshening breeze

The empty caisson creaks as it is drawn away from a raw gap

in the new-mown grass

Thy gray-faced man fumbles for a handkerchief, passes it to a woman

who tenderly brushes imagined dust from the little white cross


Emotion: Anger

Color: matador-cape red

Shape: jagged, spikey

Texture: shark skin, emery board, dental plaque scraper

Object: fist, bloody and dull ax, stalagmite

Smell: blood, sulfur, steam from a dragon’s nose

Food: lamb’s brains, black licorice, hot salsa, onions

Sound: banging all piano keys, goose stepping, nails on chalkboard,

dripping water

Place: a pit, hell, burning car, corpse-strewn battlefield

Building: mental institution, concentration camp,

stone prison with tiny windows

Clothing: black leather, chains, boots, spikes

Song: “Brackish,” “Lake of Fire”

Movie: Silence of the Lambs

Vehicle: Hummer, German tank, U boat, chariot

Animal: black widow, cobra, Tasmanian devil, rat, abused dog


Prose Passage: Anger is the surreptitious black widow skimming the abandoned piano keys as the matron’s jagged voice silences all of the lambs and her pocked fist turned the key to the padded cell.







A black widow kisses the abandoned piano keys


The matron’s jagged voice silences all of the lambs

As her pocked fist turns the key to the padded cell

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