if poems


Squeak on the dictionaryIf Poems


Read the following poem by Nikki Giovanni:

if you plant grain

you get fields of flour

if you plant seeds

you get grass…

i planted once

and a robin red breast flew

in my window

but a tom cat wouldn’t let it



Nikki Giovanni

Read these examples of “If Poems” written by Dellview Elementary School third graders with Ms. D


if you run

you might sweat

if you run away

your mama will come find you

i ran away once

but i got lost


if you crush a brick

you get pebbles

if you crush an egg

you get scrambled eggs

i got crushed once

when my boyfriend broke my heart

Now finish these lines to make your own “if” poem.  It should have three parts that are all connected and a surprise ending.  Write it like Nikki Giovanni, without a title, capital letters, or punctuation.


if you                                                                          


if you                                                                          


i                                                                        once


Extend your talent!  Use any line in any poem from this page, even the one you just wrote, as the first line in a new poem and continue writing from there using the same format.

Teachers and parents:  You are free to distribute and use this prompt with the following attribution:  (c) d. ellis phelps, Young Writer’s Idea Box.  Submit your student’s poem for publication on this blog via the “contact us” link.

d.  ellis phelps is the author of Making Room for George, Moon Shadow Sanctuary Press, 2016.