Discovering Language Through Poetry

Contributor: Kristen Gardiner. Lesson ID: 11968

It takes some time to make lines rhyme. You may be a poet and not yet know it! Learn how much fun words can be, when you try to make them rhyme like me! Have fun learning from Mother, Mary, and McKay!


Comprehension, Writing

learning style
Auditory, Visual
personality style
Grade Level
Intermediate (3-5)
Lesson Type
Skill Sharpener

Lesson Plan - Get It!


Do you have a pet? Does your pet sometimes misbehave? What sort of things does your pet do that your parent thinks is bad? If you don't have a pet, what type of pet would you like? Do you think you could convince your mother or father to allow you to get that pet? What does all this have to do with anything?

You are about to read a poem about a child wanting a dog, called "Mother Doesn't Want a Dog."

Before you read the poem, what do you think the poem is about, based on the title? Explain to your parent or teacher why you think the way you do, then read the poem.

You might find it helpful to print a copy of the poem so you can read it out loud with your parent or teacher. You can also underline any unfamiliar words so you can look them up in the dictionary when you are finished reading.

Once you have read the poem, discuss the meaning with your parent or teacher.

  • Does the speaker want a dog?
  • Why do you think the speaker's mother does not want to get a dog?
  • What types of bad things does the speaker's mother think the dog will do?
  • With whom do you agree, the speaker or her mother? Explain your answer to your parent or teacher.

Now, read this poem, called "Mother Doesn't Want a Dog," written by Judith Viorst in 1931 (courtesy of

Did you like the poem? If so, what made it enjoyable? If not, what would have made it more enjoyable? Tell your parent or teacher what you thought about the poem.

Now, let's move on to the Got It? section and look at some of the vocabulary and patterns in the poem.

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