Free to Dream Poetry

Free to Dream Poetry lesson plan

Read and respond to the poetry of Langston Hughes then write original poems using Crayola® Gel Markers.

  • 1.

    Become familiar with the poetry of Langston Hughes. Read several of his poems aloud. Discuss each poem and how it is structured. In small groups, read Hughes' poetry together. Identify sound techniques Hughes used to impress his ideas on readers. Share your discoveries and reactions to his poems. Identify characteristics that typify his poetry.

  • 2.

    Write your own poems, trying out structures, techniques, and topics similar to those of Langston Hughes. Share poems-in-progress.

  • 3.

    Write finished poems on construction paper using Crayola® Gel Markers. Choose colors and writing styles to match the mood and ideas in your poems. Illustrate the text using colored pencils and Crayola Washable Glitter Glue.


  • Students read and respond to poems by Langston Hughes, identifying structures and sound techniques (e.g., rhyme, rhythm, meter, alliteration).
  • Children write their own poems to demonstrate their understanding of poetic structures and ability to use techniques similar to those employed by Hughes.
  • Students add visual dimension to their poems with creative art materials.


  • Children copy one of Hughes' poems on construction paper with colored pencils, then cut the words apart and rearrange them to make a new poem. Compare with the original poem. Try various arrangements of words for different poetic expressions. Glue words t
  • Share poems from Hughes' Sweet and Sour Animal Book. Children write their own animal poems in a similar style. Bind poems into a class book to share with family members.
  • Children work in pairs to present Langston Hughes' poems and their own poems in short improvisations for the class. Students use movement and expression to reflect the theme and emotion of the poems.