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Practical Poetry Program: "Cat Burglar" (Single PDF Lesson Plan)

Practical Poetry Program: "Cat Burglar" (Single PDF Lesson Plan)


"Cat Burglar" uses simple meter and rhyme to tell the story of how the family cat steals items from the neighbors and brings them home as "presents" for them each morning. This is not a serious introspective poem – it is a simple narrative celebration of the kind of cute things that happen in everyday life. 

"Cat Burglar" gives students a chance to take a break from the academic vocabulary and themes to just have some fun. It reminds them that not everything has to be so serious; working with language can be amusing and entertaining. For many students it is reminiscent of reading childhood books and stories like Dr. Seuss, when reading used to be enjoyable for them.

All of our lesson plans feature a unique three step process focusing on text elements, visual elements, and audio commentary, along with group discussions and written reflection essays designed to support high school ELA programs and curriculum through a practical, flexible, and unique natural growth process of teaching poetry.

"Cat Burglar"
by Frank Elkins ©2016


Look what the cat dragged in!
I don't know where to begin...
A dead rat,
a mangled lizard,
a half eaten bird
without any gizzard.
Children's floaties
from a neighbor's pool –
A pair of sunglasses
that look pretty cool.
A disposable diaper,
over six pairs of gloves –
Something left at the back door
each morning with love.
A literal "cat burglar"
living right under my roof –
I know he's a criminal
but I have no firm proof.
At first it was cute,
but I'm starting to worry...
He's moving from petty larceny
to grand theft in a hurry!

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