Writing poems


There are many teachers who are familiar with poetry, with reading it and teaching kids to write it in the classroom. Others I have met confess they avoid it – they’ve never learned how to write poems themselves and certainly never learned how to teach their students.
Poetry seems to be something that can scare anyone!

Please take some time to read my notes on Immersion in Poetry, and try out the ideas. Immersion is about reading for enjoyment, wallowing in poems for the sheer pleasure of what they can give you. You can do this in tandem with writing, or before you try some writing.

You may also find this article useful – it’s all about how to read a verse novel. If you’re not sure what a verse novel even is, this will explain it and provide materials for your class.

A Poem a Week – this is a resource for teachers, and features a new poem each week by an Australian children’s writer, along with a note about where the idea came from. You can read each poem in class, print it out for your students, and model writing activities on it. It contains lots of great poems, in two sections.

The following are some ideas and materials for use in the classroom when you’re ready to write. Level One is for absolute beginners, Level Two is for students who have a little bit of experience with poetry, and Level Three is for students who have written a fair amount and are ready for experimenting and play.

Level One – class poems and small poems

Level Two – more poem ideas

Level Three -slightly more advanced writing prompts here.

For younger grades, you might like to use my verse picture book, Now I Am Bigger, as a resource to read and discuss, and then write poems from it! There are links to PDFs for Teacher’s Notes and poetry writing.

Now I Am Bigger picture book
Poetry in a picture book!