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Fill in the blank with Shel Silverstein


Language Arts  


1, 2, 3, 4  

By – Carrie Wade
Primary Subject – Language Arts
Grade Level – 1-4

Learner Objectives:
The student will listen quietly and participate in class discussion and questioning in order to understand the book and assignment and demonstrate their learning by filling in the blanks to create their own poetry.

Light in the Attic by Shel Silverstein
Copies of Mr. Smeds and Mr. Spats and Arrows and copies with blanks.


1. Review
I review what we learned about poems the previous day during the unit or earlier in the year. I will then review nouns, verbs, etc.

2. Introduction
I will tell the students that today we are going to write a poem together. Then I will read two or three more poems from “Light in the Attic”. Then I will pass around the sheets prepared earlier with blanks for the students to fill in and make an adaptation of Shel Silverstein’s poems “Arrows” and “Mr. Smeds and Mr. Spats.”

3. Instruction
I will begin by passing around the sheet for “Arrows”. Then, the students will follow along as I explain one by one what types of words to put in the blanks. MAKE SURE to use an overhead projector with a transparency copy of your own, ESPECIALLY with younger students. After they students have written their version of “Arrows”, we will write a version of “Mr. Smeds and Mr. Spats”. After that, we will read Shel Silverstein’s “Arrow” and “Mr. Smeds and Mr. Spats”. We will then discuss which ones we think are best. When finished we will read the two original poems and compare them to ours. Rewriting and revising may be necessary first, especially with younger students.

POEM 1 – Shel Silverstein’s “Mr. Smeds and Mr. Spats”

1. A friend’s name
2. Your name
3. A number
4. A noun
5. A different noun

1.__________ and 2.________________


Had 3.___ 4._______

And none of them were the same.

And 1._____________

Had 3._____ 5.__________

And only one 4.___________ to his name.

Now when 1.___________

Met 2.____________,

They talked of the
Buying and selling of 4.________.

And 2.____________

Bought 1.____________ 5.________________!

Did you ever hear anything
Crazier than that?

POEM 2 – Shel Silverstein’s “Arrows”

1. A noun
2. A verb
3. A different noun
4. An adverbial phrase


I 2.________ a 1.___________ to the sky.

It hit a 3.__________ 4.______________.

The 3.________ fell dying to the shore.

I don’t 2._______ 1.____________ anymore.

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