Poetry & Fiction

Jennifer Parker October 4, 2016

Have students write a poem from the perspective of a fiction character in a book.  This ties together fiction, poetry, and writing together. Optional: Do a contest where teens can guess what character from what book the poem is written and give away a prize for who gets the most poems right. 

Type: Active
Age: Middle school
Optimal size: 20+
Estimated cost: Free
Planning time: <1 hour
Frequency: One-time

Learning outcomes

Anchor Standards:

●  CCSS.ELA­Literacy.CCRA.W.4 Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.  

●  CCSS.ELA­Literacy.CCRA.W.5 Develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach.  

●  CCSS.ELA­Literacy.CCRA.W.6 Use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing and to interact and collaborate with others.  

●  CCSS.ELA­Literacy.CCRA.W.10 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 tasks, purposes, and audiences.  


 Product should include: 

  1. A cover page stating: It List book name, character name, short scene description (with page numbers and book format for cross reference by judges)
  2. A creative title for the poem
  3. A clear tie-in to one of the current It List nominees
  4. At least 50 words
  5. A clear poetic style
  6. A clear word picture of which character is speaking and what scene they are inspired by from the book        


  • Should have perfect grammar and spelling  
  • Organized and concise
  • 50 word minimum
  • Must be able to submit with a link to document (Google Docs, Drop Box, etc.)

Questions to consider when composing your poem:

  1. What character’s voice am I speaking in?
  2. During what scene is he/she/it thinking this?
  3. What is the character feeling?
  4. What is the character sensing (seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, touching, etc)?


It List Poetry Rubric








The poem includes an appropriate, descriptive title. (5 points)

The poem includes a title, but it is not appropriate and/or descriptive. (1-4 points)

The poem does not include a title (0 points)


Overall Theme


The poem is clearly inspired by a current It List nominee.(20-25 points)

It is unclear if the poem is inspired by a current It List nominee. (1-19 points)

The poem is clearly not inspired by a current It List nominee. (0 points)


It List Character Point of Reference


Poem clearly conveys a specific character's thoughts during a specific scene (14-15 points)

It is unclear which character’s thoughts are being conveyed or if the poem is from a character’s perspective.  (1-13 points)

The poem is clearly not from a character’s perspective (0 points)





Poem is student’s original work, with a clear personal style. (16-20 points)

The poem is the student’s original work, but the style of the poem tone is not clearly original (1-15 points)

The poem is not the student’s original work (0 points for all categories, entry will not be judged)




Poem should contain perfect grammar and spelling; poem should be well organized and concise. (20 points)

The poem contains less than 3 spelling grammar errors (1-19 points)

The poem contains 4 or more spelling/grammar errors (0 points)




Poem is a minimum of 50 words. Cover page is included and complete. (15 points)

The poem is not a minimum of 50 words and or the cover page is included or incomplete (1-14 points)

Cover page is not included and poem is less than 50 words (0 points)





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