Students’ Spine Poems

Last month was National Poetry Month so quite a few people I follow on Twitter were posting links to everything poetry.  Donalyn Miller tweeted a picture of a spine poem she created while her students created them as well.  Paul Hankins also posted some pictures of spine poems, but his were linked on Facebook.  I instantly knew this was an activity I wanted to try in my classroom, so I did not too long ago with my Young Adult Lit students.

I took pictures of all of their poems and had them write a short piece explaining their poem so I could post these on my blog.  Some wrote more than others explaining their poems, and some also gave their poems titles.  My room was a disaster with books everywhere, but my students had fun and asked to do it again 🙂  I can’t complain about that!  I’m featuring a sampling of the poems created.

Poem #1 created by Wesley and Ethan:

Lost voices (souls) that linger because they’ve fallen away from God.  The white darkness symbolizes the purity and corruption of humans but fade without God, thus fading to wickedness.

Poem #2 created by Alexis K. and Jazzmyn titled “Wonderous Love”:

A guy who is waiting for the girl that is right for him.

Poem #3 created by Brittany and Allison:

You discover that you were cheated on, figured out the lies and the reasons why, left and hoped for something better.

Poem #4 created by Shannon and Torey:

He was in love, but too in love to the point that he was trapped.  It felt like he was trapped forever and there was nothing he could do.  None of this might have happened if he wouldn’t have written his feelings down in the notebook. Perfect (sarcasm).

Poem #5 created by Jessica, Sam, and Morgan:

A girl falling for anything, becoming lovesick, and tricked into leaving with him.  She is sold into prostitution and learning to survive.

Poem #6 created by Ashley and Chris titled “The Cycle of Death”:

We ordered the books in an order that represented the cycle of death.  It starts “Fallen” and “Beautiful Darkness” which symbolize dying and ends with “City of Ashes” which symbolizes the end.  The middle books symbolize what happens after death and how things work out.

Poem #7 created by Merissa:

A romantic comedy about a couple falling in love, the hesitance of trusting someone, and trying to make it work for the long term.

Poem #8 created by Zach:

It’s about a guy in a race who is fast, but he only gets fourth so he failed.


  1. I love this idea! Poems 1, 2, 7 and 8 particularly resonated with me.

    How did you figure out the groups for this activity? Did students work in pairs or trios or…? 🙂

  2. heisereads says:

    I totally need to do this next year – so fun and great critical thinking skills!

  3. This was a lovely idea. It brought both the artistic and the wordsmith part of your students out. Who could argue with such a wonderful technique? Do it again next year by all means.

    What grade(s) were your students from?

    Thanks for sharing.


  1. […] working together with their book group to form spine poems about the book they chose to read.  This activity went over really well with my YA Lit class as well.  For this post I chose a few poems from each […]

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