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.
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.
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.
It tastes yummy.
It melts in your mouth.
It tingles in your tummy.
It makes you hungry.
It doesn’t last very long.
A chant is a poem that repeats certain words over and over. It should be read aloud.
My dog barked
My dog barked at
My dog barked at the
My dog barked at the mailman.
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)
Racing, Running, Jumping
Makes me very happy
A humorous poem that contains four lines (a-a-b-b); the first two lines rhyme and the last two lines rhyme.
A teacher down the hall,
Was afraid of a blue ball.
One hit him in the knee,
And he ran behind a tree.
After selecting a color, either describe it or list things that color.
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.
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.
A couplet contains two rhyming lines of verse one after another, e.g.,
“The butcher, the baker / The candlestick maker.”
My granddaddy rocks in his chair,
And stares over there.
As its name implies, these are poems about 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.
Fill in the Blanks Poetry
No explanation deemed necessary.
Roses are ______
Violets are ______,
Sugar ____ sweet,
_____ so are _____.
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
Talked about reading for 20 minutes a day,
In the classroom,
Because she wants her students to be smart.
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.
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.
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.
I Remember Poem
These are poems about a person, place or thing; write about the things that you remember about him, her or it.
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.
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.
As its name implies, this poem uses words with the suffix, ing.
Line 1: A subject or short sentence
Line 2: Several –ING words
Line 1: Topic of the Poem; Subject matter
Lines 2 – 10: Words that describe the topic word
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.
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).
Noun / Adjective Poetry
This type of poem is created using both nouns and adjectives.
This poem describes a place.
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.
Choose a topic and write questions about it. It can be rhyming or free verse.
Pretty little flower,
Why are you floppy?
Why are your leaves hanging low?
Why do you look so dry?
Do you need some water?
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
Snuggling with loved ones
A tercet is a poem with three lines and the first two lines rhyme.
My little baby wrinkled his nose,
As he touched his tiny little toes.
He makes me so happy.
Large tall trees,
Long tree branches,
Strong leaves waving in the wind,
Source: Rachel Carson Elementary School 2nd Grade Handout
Montgomery County, MD (2011-2012)