The assignment: to focus on a specific object or image, and then concentrate on how to write about this image/picture in a descriptive way.
This strategy gets the students to start thinking about figurative language, symbols, similes, connections, etc.
The students have the freedom to write a poem, to make comparisons, or to just write what comes to mind. Then the teacher can work with the class on taking these comparisons and shift the class direction into an explanation of figurative language in the form of a poem—getting students to recognize how and why a writer might use description to enhance a piece of writing.
The poem that comes as a result of the strategy is interesting, I think, because it makes sense of figurative language in a way that the entire class can connect to. I think that students will feel accomplished in how the connections they make can form into a wonderfully-written poem in the end.