Buddy Poem Shout-Out

Clare Meeker Workshops Buddy Poems

Buddy Poems are a great way to jump start student writing in the classroom, especially for third graders and up.  As the name implies, students are assigned a buddy and collaborate on writing a three-stanza poem and refrain about something they have in common. Buddy Poems are writ-ten and performed to a beat.  Like hip hop music, they are created to be a performance piece. The workshop can be completed and shared in an hour. The quick time deadline is part of the magic that makes this workshop successful. 

How to create a buddy poem:
1)    Each buddy interviews the other to find out what they have in common, what they like to do. 
2)    Come up with a one-sentence refrain about about what you have in common.
3)    The refrain sets the beat or rhythm of the poem. It also can be the title. 
4)    Taking turns to come up with every other line, create 3 stanzas that describe and support your refrain. 

Here are examples from a writing workshop I did with 3rd Graders at Penny Creek Ele-mentary School in Everett, Washington this past spring:

We Like Peregrine Falcons
They look like eagles, without a white head.
Diving for their prey, whipping speeds of 200 miles per hour
Their sharp talons grab their prey.
 We like Peregrine Falcons.
You don’t see them in Washington State
They like to nest in high buildings
We both saw them on Wild Krats, a TV show that is realistic fiction.
We like Peregrine Falcons.
A raptor following you,
Their prey being pigeons.
Sharp talons accosting you out of the sky at speeds that will break your arm.
We like Peregrin Falcons. 

Fantastic Football
Throw the ball
making touch downs
doing exercises
tackling opponents
Fantastic football
Seattle Seahawks
Green Bay Packers
Miami Dolphins
San Francisco 49ers
Fantastic Football
Russell Wilson
Golden Tate
Marshawn Lynch
Percy Harim
Fantastic football

We Like Reading
I like reading mystery
Scary, weird, and good endings
History and language
Real, true, and Sign language

We like Reading

Science, art,
Crafts, you can learn
Technology and religion
How humans are built
We like Reading
Jan Brett
Gertrude Chandler Warner
Clare Meeker
E.B. White
We like Reading
Dogs and cats 
The Box Car Children
The everything sign language book
We like reading.