We're Poets and We Know It!

Empower children to become poets and write their own verses with these simple activities. 

Note!  Adapt these suggestions to the age and ability of your students.  Older children could do some of these projects independently, while younger children could do them in a small group.

Shared  Rhymes -   Take a common word and write it on the board.  Have children brainstorm all the words that rhyme with that word.  Challenge each child to think of  two sentences that end with the rhyming words. 

  • Write the children's two line poems on the board as they dictate them.
  • Read over the poems after you write them.

Magic Word - Ask each child to take a "magic word" and write it on their paper.  (They could use their name, a holiday, favorite color, food, a vocabulary word from a unit of study, etc.)  Next, have them think of all the words that rhyme with their magic word.  Finally, have them write two or more simple sentences that end with the rhyming words.  Invite children to read their poems to classmates

Acrostic - An acrostic is another easy way to begin writing poetry.  Model how to do this on the board by writing a word vertically.  Challenge children to think of a word that begins with each letter and that describes or relates to the main word.  Read over what you have written, and you'll have a poem!  Ask children to use their names, a vocabulary word, a real object, a seasonal word, etc. to create an acrostic poem.

Blank Poem -Write several lines of poetry, leaving blanks at the end of each line.  Invite the children to fill in words that rhyme.  Have them help you sound out the words as you write them.  For example:

              I saw a pig.

                 It was ______.

              I saw a cat.

                 It was ______.

              I saw a sheep.

                 It was ______.

              And I can rhyme

                 Any time!

Predictable Poems - Encourage beginning writing and poetry by giving children predictable sentences similar to the ones below.  All the children have to do is fill in a missing word, and they'll have a poem.

I like_____.

I like_____.

I like_____.

Do you like_____?

I want____.

I want____.

I want____.

But I don't want____.

Here are some other starters for predictable poems:   I know….I wish….My mom is…Dogs can….Spring is….Green is…. A square is… My favorite…I like to eat…

Hint!  It doesn't matter if they use words that rhyme, nonsense words, or words that don't rhyme.

Picture Poems - Cut out pictures from magazines, calendars, catalogs, etc.  Let children choose a picture, and then write a poem about it.

Fast Food Poem - Children bring in a bag from a fast food restaurant or store and then write an original poem on the bag.  Put the bags together to make a class book.

Songs - Give children the opportunity to create a poem and then sing it.

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