Activity 6: ‘I am’ Poems

Posted By on Dec 22, 2013

Student sample: hippo 'I am' poem

Student sample: hippo ‘I am’ poem

Purpose: To understand ‘I am’ Poems and how to construct them.

Materials: Recycled paper, pencil, colored pencils, crayons, marker, watercolor paper, watercolors, and water cups.

Common Core Standards:

English Language Arts Standards:

Reading: Literature:

Craft and Structure:

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.3.5 (third) Refer to parts of stories, dramas, and poems when writing or speaking about a text, using terms such as chapter, scene, and stanza; describe how each successive part builds on earlier sections.

CCSS.ELA-ELA-Literacy.RL.4.5 (fourth) Explain major differences between poems, drama, and prose, and refer to the structural elements of poems (e.g., verse, rhythm, meter) and drama (e.g., casts of characters, settings, descriptions, dialogue, stage directions) when writing or speaking about a text.

Integration of Knowledge and Ideas:

CCSS.ELS-Literacy.RL.5.7 (fifth) Analyze how visual and multimedia elements contribute to the meaning, tone, or beauty of a text (e.g., graphic novel, multimedia presentation of fiction, folktale, myth, poem).

Reading: Foundational Skills:


CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RF.3.4b (third), 4.4b (fourth), and 5.5b (fifth) Read grade-level prose and poetry orally with accuracy, appropriate rate, and expression on successive readings.


Range of Writing:

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.3.10 (third), 4.10 (fourth), and 5.10 (fifth) Write routinely over extended time frames (time for research, reflection, and revision) and shorter time frames (a single sitting or a day or two) for a range of discipline-specific tasks, purposes, and audiences.

Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS):

Understandings about the Nature of Science:

Science is a human endeavor:

Science affects everyday life; Creativity and imagination are important to science.

Procedure: (Discuss ‘I am’ Poems)

• Discuss the structure of ‘I am’ poems (see examples).

• Have students practice their ‘I am’ Poems with you and with each other.

• Encourage students to choose an ecosystem of interest to them when constructing their ‘I am’ Poem. Note: If students choose to paint, cut a piece of watercolor paint and paste on metaphor writing activity below (pdf).

• Students can share their work with their classmates and parents. These can also be showcased in the classroom (see below).

• Students can draw their animal or plant on the back of their ‘I am’ Poem.

• Students can also punch a hole up at the top of their ‘I am’ poem and where it as a necklace. They can read the poem to the class and ask at the end, “What am I?” The class can guess and then the student can turn over the poem and show the illustration of the animal or plant.

• Have fun!

Gray Mouse Lemur

Gray Mouse Lemur

‘I am’ Poem




I am a [mammal, bird, reptile, amphibian, fish, invertebrate, plant]

Physical description (3 things)


Range (where it lives)

I am a [herbivore, insectivore, omnivore, carnivore]: list what your animal eats

Predators (list them)

What am I?

Wetland ‘I am’ Poem


I’m a bird.

I have a green head, a brown chest, yellow beak, and orange feet.

I migrate and feed on agricultural crops.

I live in wetlands and marshes in the Northern Hemisphere of the USA.

I’m an omnivore and eat: aquatic invertebrates, fish, amphibians, seeds, duckweed and other plants.

Crows, foxes, coyotes, raccoons, and skunk like to eat me.

What am I?

(Students can draw their animal or plant on the other side of the poem; in this case, a mallard duck)

Ocean ‘I am’ Poem



I’m an invertebrate.

I have eight arms with many suckers, a bulbous head, and large eyes.

I am intelligent and a master of disguise.

I live in the Pacific Ocean.

I’m a carnivore and eat: shrimp, clams, lobster, and fish.

Harbor seals, sea otters, and sperm whales like to eat me.

What am I?

(Students can draw their animal on the other side of the poem; in this case, an octopus)


Rating Activity 6


Teachers rating Activity 6 for effectiveness in helping students learn ____

1 not helpful!    2 a little bit helpful    3 helpful    4 very helpful    5Wow!

Teachers rating Activity 6 for level of enjoyment _____

 1 not fun!    2 a little bit fun    3 fun    4 very fun    5 Wow!


Students rating Activity 6 for helping you learn _____

1 not helpful!   2 a little bit helpful   3 helpful   4 very helpful   5 Wow!

Students rating Activity 6 for level of enjoyment _____

1 not fun!    2 a little bit fun    3 fun    4 very fun    5 Wow!

PDF Version

Completed Student Examples 

3rd Grade :

I am poem Elephant

I am poem Congo African Gray Talking Bird

4th Grade :

I am poem Person’s Chameleon 

I am poem Rangutan 

5th Grade :

I am poem Hippopotamus 

I am poem Graymouselemur

I am poem Black Panther