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Writing a Tumble-Down Poem

Minilesson Print

Writing a Tumble-Down Poem

Dalmatian dog lifts his head up and sniffs
Sergey Fatin/

Writing a poem is as easy as letting the words in a sentence tumble down the page. Here is how one writer wrote a tumble-down poem about his dog:


Marley’s proud head narrows to a spotted snout designed for eager sniffing.

Tumble-Down Poem

Marley’s proud head


to a spotted snout


for eager sniffing


Not only did the writer create line breaks, but he also replaced "designed" with “engineered” to connect with the “e” sound in “eager.” In this writing activity, you will write one or more tumble-down poems. Once you get started, you may not want to stop.

Your Turn Write a tumble-down poem.

  1. Write a descriptive sentence about a pet, admirable person, popular place, or favorite food.
  2. Experiment with different ways to break the sentence into lines. (There is no right or wrong way to do this.)
  3. Choose the best way to create your poem.
  4. Check the word choice for effectiveness.
  5. Share your final copy and then continue writing more tumble-down poems.


From pages 284-286 in Writers Express

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