Plip, plop, splish, splash

Shrug on raincoat

Batten hatches!

Drippity drop

Umbrella up

Plip, plop, splish, splash

Wind whipping rain

Face drizzled wet

Step, step, dodge, dodge

Puddles, oh no!

Plip, plop, splish, splash

I’m getting wet.

Rubber boots, yes!

Jump in puddles.

Wet all over.

Plip, plop, splish, splash

©Heidi Clark 2022

This poem was inspired by Denise’s post at Ethical ELA. She described how to write a 4×4 poem.

There are four “rules.”

4 syllables in each line
4 lines in each stanza
4 stanzas
Refrain repeated four times in lines 1, 2, 3, 4 of stanzas 1, 2, 3, 4.
Bonus: Try writing a title in four syllables

Other than those four rules, anything goes. There are no rhyming or rhythm restrictions, and you can write on any topic. The 4 x 4 poem is a slight variation of the quatern. It’s also similar to the Tricube Poem.

I have never written a 4×4 and was keen to try. I also wanted to write one that kids would like, specifically second and third graders. I wanted this to be an anchor text for them. I plan to give copies of this poem to small groups and to get them to analyze it. Specifically I want them to understand that:

  • poetry is different than prose
  • no long sentences, but phrases instead
  • the absence of ‘the’ & ‘and’
  • its joyous and fun
  • onomatopoeia
  • assonance
  • alliteration
  • repetition
  • imagery
  • notice amount of syllables
  • understand what is a stanza, and how many of them
  • familiar topic: Vancouver is smack dab in the middle of a temperate rainforest. This poem was inspired by the deluge of water we had in the past few days.

Is there anything else that I should get kids to notice? Any other advice? This would be an introduction to a poetry unit. I want them to be excited.

7 thoughts on “Sploosh

  1. I’ve never heard of this poem structure, but you created a fun poem full of vivid sensory details with it! I especially enjoyed the repeated line that showed up in different parts of each stanza. It gave your poem a carefree attitude! I hope your students enjoy the poetry unit!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is so cool, so many sounds and images created! I read through some of the other 4 x 4 poems. I’m not a poetry expert, but I think you’ve got pretty much everything covered. I’m sure they’ll enjoy analysing it!
    Is it okay if I borrow it for my students too? They won’t be able to do all the above, but they can enjoy the poem!! Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

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