Poet-Trees and Our Poetry Coffeehouse

Hi, friends. Celebrating the conclusion of our poetry unit, we hosted a 1st Grade Poetry Coffeehouse (an idea by Amanda Nickerson) and it was a smashing success. 17 of our 21 friends and their families came dressed in black ready to share their best poems and reader’s theater. Jazz music played and our snapping fingers got a work out. Of course, hot chocolate and cookies were served, too!

Making Poet-Trees

Inside the coffeehouse, tables were set up covered in bulletin board paper. As the poems were read aloud, parents wrote comments and words of praise to our awesome poets. The next morning we shared all of the compliments. Our firsties cut out and saved notes that were specific to them or their poem. In addition to crayons, a potted Poet-Tree sat at each table. This is how I make these fantastic centerpieces!
(1) Find an unsuspecting tree with appropriately branchy and low limbs. Maim it. 
(2) Deflower said limbs.
(3) Gather green planters foam, newspapers, fish tank rocks, clay pots, and ribbon.
(4) Crumble and place a layer of newspaper at the bottom of a clay pot.
(5) Place a small block of green planters foam in the pot.
(6) Push a tree limb into the foam.
(7) Tightly pack newspaper around the green foam and limb (but do not allow the newspaper to reach the rim of the clay pot).
(8) Spread a layer of fish tank rocks covering the newspaper.
(9) Punch holes in your typed poems.
(10) Using ribbon, tie the poems to the tree limbs. 
and….celebrate the cuteness!!!!

These were SO much fun and our friends (and their parents) loved seeing their awesome work on display. At the end of the evening, our friends untied their poems and took them to use as bookmarks. :)

Other Poetry Ideas

I've shared more about our Poetry Unit in this blog post! From figurative language to exploring our senses, you can read more about our four-week unit here.

Are you and your friends studying and writing poetry? Have you done anything special to celebrate or have any great ideas?


  1. What a fun evening! We just finished our poetry unit and I didn't do anything special to celebrate and am feeling really guilty after reading your great post :( Maybe next year! Cute ideas!

  2. What a great idea! That is a very good turnout for Poetry Coffeehouse. I made a Poet-tree out of paper before, but I never thought of using real trees. Thanks for sharing!

    Eclectic Educating

  3. I love the Poet Trees! Our whole second grade team does a Coffee House Poetry day (we usually do it in Feb. though!) It's so much fun!
    Snaps to you! You are one cool cat! Groovy!
    Second Grade is Out of This World!

  4. This is ADORABLE! What a clever way to show student work!
    Tamra and Sarah
    First Grade Buddies


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