Poetry Project for Kids
Poetry Lesson Plans
Many young people think that poems are all about rhyming. And while it does often have something to do with rhythm and rhyme, there are a lot of other types of poetry out there for students to learn about. With April being poetry month, it is the perfect time for students to learn about a variety of types of poems. There are lots of choices out there but the ones that I chose this year for my students to learn about are haiku, acrostic, limerick, color, cinquain, and diamante. These are all very appropriate types of poetry for upper elementary and middle school students to learn.
Poetry does not have to be intimidating. It is a fun and interesting way to express oneself. If you feel a little overhelmed at the idea of teaching your students poetry, start here. These are very easy to write. Take some time to review the guidelines of each poem and write some examples of your own to use as examples for your students. They love seeing what you can do!
Rain, flowers, and sun
Butterflies, bees, and green trees
Everything is new.
What is a haiku poem?
Haiku poetry is a Japanese form of poetry. It is an easy one for children to learn. It usually focuses on an element of nature and follows a strict syllable pattern. The poems consist of three lines. The first line has five syllables, the second has seven and the third has five.
What is an acrostic poem?
Acrostic poems are one of the easiest poems to learn because the only rule is that the subject is spelled down the side and the lines talk about the subject. The topic of this type of poem is as endless as anyone's imagination.
Notice that in each example, the first letter of each line spells out the topic of the poem. Kids LOVE to write these. A great starting point is to write one about yourself using your name.
Although he only used one word in each line, that is not part of the guidelines. Here is another example.
Puddles from the
New boots from
sledding, skating, building
snowmen, forts, sandcastles, beach
swimming, hiking, sunbathing
What is a diamante poem?
Diamante poems are seven lines that form the shape of a diamond when they are complete.
- The first line is one word, a noun.
- The second line is two words, adjectives that describe the noun in line one.
- The third line is three verbs ending in -ing.
- The fouth line is a combination of four nouns. The first two nouns are about the noun in the first line while the second two nouns are about the noun in line seven.
- The fifth line is three verbs that end in -ing about the noun in line seven.
- The sixth line is two adjectives about the noun in line seven.
- The seventh line is a noun that is opposite that of the noun in line one.
Students working on poetry books.Click thumbnail to view full-size
Limerick Example: Farting Bart
There was once a man named Bart,
He owned a big shopping cart.
He went to the store
And found it a chore,
So he let out a great big fart!
**Kids LOVE when you get gross. They think it's really cool!**
What is a limerick poem?
Limericks are one of those really fun and silly types that kids love to try to write. They have a very specific rhythm and rhyming pattern and are meant to entertain. Limericks are five lines. The first, second, and fifth lines rhyme. The third and fourth lines rhyme with each other. They have a da-duh, da-duh, da-duh; da-duh, da-duh, da-duh; da-duh, da-duh; da-duh, da-duh; da-duh, da-duh, da-duh rhythm.
Color Poem Example
Red is the color of fire.
Red tastes like a juicy strawberry.
Red looks like the beautiful sunset on a summer night.
Red feels like loving hugs from my kids.
Red sounds like the siren of a fire truck racing down the street.
Red smells like a slice of cherry pie fresh from the oven.
Red is the color of love.
What is a color poem?
Color poems are close to a free verse type of poem. The idea is to choose a color and imagine the feelings and senses that are evoked from that color. A good guide to use is your five sense but you are certainly not limited to that. Think and feel everything that you can that you associate with that particular color.
running, chasing, barking
man's very best friend
What is a cinquain poem?
Cinquain poems are very similar to diamante. They start with a noun in the first line. The second line consists of two adjectives. The third line is a selection of three verbs. The fourth line is a feeling (sentence or phrase) of four words related to the noun in the first line. The last line is a synonym of the noun in the first line.
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Poetry is fun!
See? It's really not hard at all. I bet if you take a minute or two you can create a great set of examples to share with those wonderful minds that you are teaching! Don't forget to have fun. Poetry should be enjoyable, not a chore. Remember to allow your students to share their work. Not only do they love the spotlight, but they love to hear what their peers have created.