Monday, January 10, 2011

Seashell Poetry-Lunes

After I taught the seashell lesson in my son's third grade class, his teacher told me she planned to have the students write haiku poems about their shells. Haiku is a challenging form of poetry to write and one that can be too hard for some children due to it's rigid 5-7-5 syllable structure. English Language Learners and children with language disabilities have an especially difficult time. I suggested a similar, yet easier to manage, relative of the haiku-the Lune- as an alternative. His teacher welcomed the suggestion.

A lune is a short poem of 11 words:  3 words in the first line, 5 words in the second line, and 3 words in the third line. Frequently, the third line offers a surprise. For more information about lunes, including examples, I recommend the book Poetry Everywhere by Jack Collum and Sheryl Noethe. I have the first edition. Here's the second:

If you wish to explore other poetic forms with your children or students, this book is an excellent resource.

Here are some examples taken from my son's third grade class. Only students who wished to have their poems published are included. Not all of the poems stick to the 3-5-3 structure (some did 5-3-5) but they have a similar feel. All students drew their shells, as well, but I think these poems stand alone well.

My shell is
orange bumpy and smooth at
 the same time.
by Kayla

My shell is very curly
round and short
and colors of the rainbow.
by Nathan

My shell looks
like a breaking wave crashing
onto the shore.
by Dante

A happy shell
swimming in the blue sea
on its back.
by Hannah

A conch is a conch
brown to its
point, dizzy, dizzy, dizzy you get!
by Haley

Happy scallops live in shells
sad scallops don't
Sad scallops get eaten. Yum!
by Ben

This oval shaped, spikey shell
has brown bumps
with a peach colored inside.
by Beatrice

My shell is at the
sunny beach with
all the shells and creatures.
by Cole F.

One black dot
in the middle, bumpy brown
around every edge.
by Cecilia

My shell has
wings on its side to
help it swim.
by Ella

My shell looks very bumpy
and also looks
like the beautiful setting sun.
by Marissa

My shell has two parts,
lives in the
ocean and opens and shuts.
by Julia

And here's one that is best read along with the art:

Will you give Lunes a try? Since they're such a short form, I hope you'll share examples in the comments.


  1. I love the one by Ben...sad scallops get eaten. Yum!

    So clever!

    And I love my favorite nephew's excellent use of language. Great imagery. Go Dante!

  2. hi mrs.cusolito it's kayla i am inspiried by you i am sorry if there is miss spelling i feel bad about that. i will be anost i was not as good at poetry intill i met you. so thank you. i was wondering what your poeyry thank you for posting my poetry on your website

    your friend
    kayla star webb

  3. Hi Kayla,
    Thank you for your kind words.

    I'm glad we got to work on poetry together for two years now! Your new poem will be published soon, so come back and check.

  4. Love these Michelle! Def going to give it a try in my classroom :)


    1. Is this my former colleague Toni?

      Hello, Toni! I'm glad you found this useful. I'd love to read some examples when you're done. Perhaps your students would like to share them in the comments? My only requirement is that no child's first and last name be used (Your school probably has the same rule).

      If they don't want to share publicly but want to share, you could also email me and I'll respond to them.