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Design a Poet-T


end-of-year graphic



  • Arts & Humanities
    Language Arts, Visual Arts


  • 3-5
  • 6-8
  • 9-12

Brief Description

Students turn plain white T-shirts into fabulous poet-T's!



  • search a selection of poetry sources for favorite poems.
  • record the locations of favorite poems.
  • choose favorite poems to use to decorate poetry T-shirts.
  • share their poet-T's and a favorite poem or two with their classmates.


poem, poetry, poet, art, fashion, research, end-of-year

Materials Needed

  • wide selection of poetry books
  • Internet access to poetry sites (optional)
  • markers, fabric paints, and other materials for creating colorful T-shirts
  • T-shirts, one per student

Lesson Plan

This activity, which is frequently mentioned on teacher listservs and Web pages, makes a great activity for the last days of school.

Bring out the poetry books! Gather poetry books from the local library if your school library is unavailable during the last week of school. Encourage students to immerse themselves in the poems you collect. As they read, ask them to keep a record of their favorite poems so they remember where they saw them; they should record the poem title and author as well as the title of the book in which they found the poem. Encourage students to select a variety of poems -- poems of different styles and types, poems that express different emotions, and so on.


In addition to asking students to choose their favorite poems, you might work in a few quick poetry-writing activities. See the Education World article Turn Your Students Into Well-Versed Poets for a selection of activities.


Have students bring in old T-shirts or white shirts that they have their parents permission to write on. The bigger the shirt, the better. Dad's T-shirt is great! If possible, the shirt should be free of advertising. On the appointed day, invite students to use markers and fabric paints to turn the T-shirts into Poet-T's! This is their opportunity to share their favorite poems -- original and collected -- with their peers and for students with artistic skills to demonstrate those skills by illustrating a poem or two. When the T-shirts are dry, encourage students to wear them for the rest of the day -- or select a special day to be Poet-T Day in your class or school. Arrange for students to model their creations and share favorite poems with their classmates.


Students choose their favorite shirts based on criteria that might include poetry selection (poems of a variety of forms, styles, and emotions); shirt design; and neatness.

Lesson Plan Source

Education World

Submitted By

Gary Hopkins

Return to Making the Most of the Dreaded End-of-School Days.

Looking for more end-of-the-year ideas? Check out Wind Up Learning as the Year Winds Down: Activities for the Last Days of School.


Originally published 5/31/2002
Last updated 6/28/2017