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Types of Poetry

Poetry is a piece of writing that usually involves figurative language and lines that have rhythm and sometimes rhyme.

Poetry for Children

The following 26 types of poems are ideal for a child in elementary school.

  1. Acrostic Poem

    Select a word to write about, e.g. your name. Use the letters of the word and write them vertically. Use a word or short sentence to create your poem. My son wrote the following poem when he was in third grade.

    Courageous
    Open minded
    Never negative
    Never naughty
    Outgoing
    Responsible

  2. Buddy Poetry

    Just as its name implies – two students work together to create a poem. They select a subject to write about, e.g. candy, and then collaborate to write several sentences about it.

    Candy Bar
    It tastes yummy.
    It melts in your mouth.
    It tingles in your tummy.
    It makes you hungry.
    It doesn’t last very long.

  3. Chant Poem

    A chant is a poem that repeats certain words over and over. It should be read aloud.

    My Dog
    My dog barked
    My dog barked at
    My dog barked at the
    My dog barked at the mailman.

  4. Cinquian Poem

    A cinquian is a poem that uses a 5-line pattern.

    Line 1: Subject (one word)
    Line 2: Describes the subject; adjectives (two words)
    Line 3: Action words about the subject (three words)
    Line 4: Feeling about the subject (four words)
    Line 5: Synonym for the subject (one word)

    Best Friend
    Loveable, Hairy
    Racing, Running, Jumping
    Makes me very happy
    Dog

  5. Clerihew Poem

    A humorous poem that contains four lines (a-a-b-b); the first two lines rhyme and the last two lines rhyme.

    Silly Teacher
    A teacher down the hall,
    Was afraid of a blue ball.
    One hit him in the knee,
    And he ran behind a tree.

  6. Color Poetry

    After selecting a color, either describe it or list things that color.

    Green
    Green can be seen when looking at trees.
    Green is the color of my shirt.
    Green is the color of grass.
    Green is the color of my bedroom.
    Green is my favorite color.

  7. Concrete Poetry

    A concrete poem is a poem that forms a picture; the pattern of the letters illustrate the meaning of the poem. For example, if you wrote a poem about a tree. You would draw a tree and write your poem on the tree. Your poem should follow the shape to help make the picture.

  8. Couplet Poem

    A couplet contains two rhyming lines of verse one after another, e.g.,
    “The butcher, the baker / The candlestick maker.”

    Granddaddy
    My granddaddy rocks in his chair,
    And stares over there.

  9. Earth Poem

    As its name implies, these are poems about our earth.

    Our Earth
    The earth is not quiet.
    There is a hurricane in the south.
    There is an earthquake in the west.
    There is a blizzard in the north.
    There is a tsunami in the east.
    The animals are running.
    The people are trembling.

  10. Fill in the Blanks Poetry

    No explanation deemed necessary.

    Roses are ______
    Violets are ______,
    Sugar ____ sweet,
    _____ so are _____.

  11. Five W’s Poetry

    This poem uses the following five words to form a poem: who, what, when, where and why.

    Line 1: Who? – Pick a noun.
    Line 2: What? – Write an action phrase.
    Line 3: When? – Write a phrase about time.
    Line 4: Where? – Write a phrase about the place.
    Line 5: Why? – Write a phrase or sentence that offers an explanation.

    My Teacher Cares About Me
    Teacher
    Talked about reading for 20 minutes a day,
    After lunch,
    In the classroom,
    Because she wants her students to be smart.

  12. Good Poem / Bad Poem

    Choose a favorite person, animal or thing to write about.

    Good Cat, Bad Cat
    My cat meows quietly,
    While scratching our furniture.
    My cat walks softly,
    And then tries to scratch me.

  13. Group Poem

    Write a poem with a group of people, e.g., your class.

    • Select a topic.
    • Using descriptive words, write about the topic.
    • Write sentences about the topic.
  14. Haiku Poem

    A haiku is a Japanese poem or form of poetry that does not contain rhyme but rather focuses on syllables. The first and last lines have five syllables and the middle has seven.

    Line 1: 5 syllables, e.g., The sky is so blue.
    Line 2: 7 syllables, e.g., It looks like blue, blue water.
    Line 3: 5 syllables, e.g., I love to watch sky.

  15. I Remember Poem

    These are poems about a person, place or thing; write about the things that you remember about him, her or it.

    Grandmother
    I remember my grandmother.
    I remember her grey hair and lovely smile.
    I remember her reading me my favorite books.
    I remember her making delicious cookies.
    I remember her giving me lots of hugs and kisses.

  16. I Used To … But Now Poetry

    A poem that discusses the things you once disliked but now like.

    I Changed My Mind
    I used to hate green beans,
    But now I always eat my green beans.
    I used to hate being in the car for a long time,
    But now I enjoy traveling.
    I used to dislike the cold weather,
    But now I enjoy being chilly, especially when I am skiing.

  17. -ING Poems

    As its name implies, this poem uses words with the suffix, ing.

    Line 1: A subject or short sentence
    Line 2: Several –ING words

    Cold Weather
    Blowing
    Snowing
    Freezing
    Misting

  18. Listing Poem

    Line 1: Topic of the Poem; Subject matter
    Lines 2 – 10: Words that describe the topic word

  19. Father
    Loving
    Giving
    Hardworking
    Playful
    Honest

  20. Lune Poem

    A lune is an American poem (similar to the Japanese haiku) that focuses on either syllables or words.

    Robert Kelly Version
    The first and last lines have five syllables and the middle has three.
    Line 1: 5 syllables, e.g., The night is scary.
    Line 2: 3 syllables, e.g., It is dark.
    Line 3: 5 syllables, e.g., I like the lights on.

    Jack Collom Version
    This poem uses words instead of syllables. The first and last lines use 3 words and the middle uses 5 words.

  21. Narrative Poem

    A narrative poem tells a story or narrative. It contains a character, problem, solution, setting, theme (lessons learned) and events (important things that happen).
    Casey at Bat is a narrative poem that my daughter enjoyed reading. She was quick to point out not all stories have a good ending (certainly not like a fairy tale story).

  22. Noun / Adjective Poetry

    This type of poem is created using both nouns and adjectives.

  23. Trees
    Trees,
    Trees,
    Trees,
    Green trees,
    Large tall trees,
    Long tree branches,
    Strong leaves waving in the wind,
    Fantastic trees.

  24. Place Poem

    This poem describes a place.

  25. The Beach
    Beautiful
    Breathtaking
    Sunny
    Sandy
    Entertaining

  26. Poetry Using Music

    Create a poem and set it to music. First, select a topic and a song, e.g. Row, Row Row Your Boat, and then write your poem.

  27. Question Poetry

    Choose a topic and write questions about it. It can be rhyming or free verse.

    Pretty Flower
    Pretty little flower,
    Why are you floppy?
    Why are your leaves hanging low?
    Why do you look so dry?
    Do you need some water?

  28. Subject Poetry

    It is a poem about anything. Choose any subject and make a list of things about it.

    My Camping Trip
    Quite an adventure
    Playing games with family
    Collecting sticks
    Roasting marshmallows
    Snuggling with loved ones

  29. Tercet Poem

    A tercet is a poem with three lines and the first two lines rhyme.

    My Baby
    My little baby wrinkled his nose,
    As he touched his tiny little toes.
    He makes me so happy.

Source: Rachel Carson Elementary School 2nd Grade Handout
Montgomery County, MD (2011-2012)

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