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How to Write a
"
How Much Do I Love You?" or a
"How Much Don't I Love You?" Poem

by Bruce Lansky

Going into classrooms to write poems with kids, I've discovered it's much easier to get them talking (and writing) about what they DON'T like than about what they do like. That's why I wrote a poem called "I Love You Not," in My Dog Ate My Homework. I figure that poem might get more use on Valentines Day than "I Love You a Whole Lot."

Either way your students want to go is fine with me, as long as their poems are well written. Here's the model:

I Love You Not

I love you I love you
I love you so well,
If I had a skunk
I would give you a smell.

If I were a dog
I would give you a bite.
If I were a witch
I would give you a fright.

If I were a bathtub
I'd give you a splash.
If I were a fungus
I'd give you a rash.

I love you so much
that I won't tell a lie:
I promise we'll marry
the day that I die.

Rhythm and Rhyme Pattern:
da DUM DUM da DUM DUM (A)
da DUM DUM da DUM (B)
da DUM DUM da DUM DUM (C)
da DUM DUM da DUM (B)

Pretty simple, isn't it? A good old ABCB rhyme scheme with a fun beat. Now all you need is a list of ideas. You can make two columns on your board:

I Love You So Much That... I Hate You So Much That...
I'd share my dessert with you I'd let you smell my pet skunk
I'd give you the shirt off my back I'd share my germs with you
etc. etc.

I think you can pretty much take it from here.

If you are interested in inviting Bruce Lansky to your school, click here!

 
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    My Dog Ate My Homework!