poem by Carol L MacKay , illustrated by Christopher Nielsen

Learning Intention:

I am learning to apply language features and digital technology to create a multimodal response poem.


Success Criteria:

  • I can write a response poem to Stingers
  • I can use rhyme and rhythm to create my text
  • I can create a multimodal text using images and sounds


After reading the poem as a class, discuss what it’s about. Encourage students to think about what questions the poem is asking. Ask students specifically:

- Would you catch a bee in your palm and rub it against your face? Why or why not?

- Would you stick your toes in a beehive? Why or why not?

- Would animals that eat honey leave the beehives alone?

- Would the bees lose all their honey if they didn’t have stingers?


If students have not already picked up on it, discuss how some of the things may harm the bee, such as catching it may damage its wings, and sticking toes in a beehive might break the hive.


Explain that students are to write a response poem to the original using multimodal elements. This means they will need to do a digital poem using music, sound effects and/or images. Students can use PowerPoint or a similar program to create their text.


Before beginning online, students write a draft of their poem in their books. They don’t have to use the same rhythm or rhyming scheme as the original; however, they do have to use rhyming words. The response poem should begin with the following two lines:


If bees were born without stingers,

I know how it would be


You can also guide them by giving examples of how they can write their response poems, such as the following.


Example one:

I would not hold them in my palm and risk damage to their wings,

I would not touch their precious hive with all their special things.


Example two:

While I’d love to hold them in my palm, I’d have to stay away,

Bees are creatures, not our toys – I’d tell others not to play.


Example three:

Yes, I’d touch a bee to cheek!

We’d play tag and hide and seek.


Students can use a rhyming dictionary like Rhyme Zone to help construct their poem.


Once a draft is written, students use a program like PowerPoint to write out their good copy. They can include images, music and sounds to their presentation. They can also record a reading of their poem to play when the slide is up. Some useful links:


Find Sounds search page (including bees buzzing, children giggling)

Youtube - Three Hours of Bees Buzzing

Youtube - Ten Hours of Birds Chirping and Bees Buzzing

Youtube - Bees Buzzing Sound Effect

Youtube – Flight of the Bumblebee

Youtube – How to Add and Record Audio in Your PowerPoint Presentation

Microsoft Support’s Add or Delete Audio

Microsoft Support’s Insert a Picture

Youtube – PowerPoint: Inserting Pictures

Search on Creative Commons: Bees


Students present their multimodal poetry to the class.