Methods/Techniques of Poetry

“If there were a recipe for  poem,
these would be the ingredients: word sounds, rhythm, description, 
feeling, memory, rhyme 
and imagination. They can be put 
together a thousand  different
ways, a thousand, thousand 
                        Karla Kuskin

Let the stories read aloud to the class be the source of inspiration for a poem. Have the children list words or phrases that describe the setting, problem, solution/ending along with  juicy words the author used. Use one or all of the lists and arrange them a poetic fashion.

Poetry revolves around images, feelings, and things around us. Poetry paints a picture or expresses a feeling with words. It may repeat a word or letter sounds - alliteration - to achieve rhythm but a poem does not have to rhyme. Smilies and analogies are great for writing descriptive poems.

“Adding a little poetry to classroom routines help(s) struggling readers attend to the reading process, understand concepts presented in poems, and learn to read fluently...” Sekeres and Gregg in Poetry in third grade: Getting started Rdg. Teacher 2/2007

Poetry supports “At Risk” students. Repeated shared readings of poems  followed by discussion of words meaning and connections to their lives enhances comprehension, fluency, vocabulary and confidence with the short lines, repetition and rhyme.

Routines suggested by Sekeres and Gregg:

-Whole Group instruction: 5 to 25 mins. depending upon difficulty: first fluency; discussion of various aspects of the poem; then rereading poems previously studied.

-Teacher reads a new poem as students follow along in their copies

-Students echo each line after the teacher reads it.

  1. -Chorally read through the entire poem themselves.

  2. Students keep Poetry  folders to hold copies of the poems and to hold their drafts.

  1. Poetry Immersion Centers/Scholastic

Imagery: learn to make a mental image. Acting them out, vary voice tone, speed, and intensity add to the meaning.

  1. The Power of Poems: Writing Activities that Teach and Inspire /Marguiet Ruurs-read Marguiet Ruurs book in its entirety on line.

Poetry Writing with Jack Prelutsky/Writing and Writers
Writing Poetry /Teaching Ideas
Templates for Writing Poetry
Poetry Lessons for Kids

Randy Lewis gives us 6 guides in writing poetry  in    
              Sit Down ad Write: Poetry Resources. 11/14/19

Poetry is more

Poetry has many meanings

Poetry is magical

It’s something that makes

reading come alive.”

     Luca 8, in third grade

Luca’s book mark


  1. Poetry Lesson Plans 3/28/15

  2. Fold Me a Poem byKristine O’Connell- a creative collaborationof origami and poety

  3. Poem Generator

  4. 25 Great Ideas for Teaching Poetry

  5. Lesson Plan: Dancing Minds & Shouting smiles/ Personification though Poetry NCTE (Click on the “Instructional Plan.)

30 Days of Poetry/TRIPOD

  1. 36 RhymingLesson Plans Gr. K-12

  2. Lesson Plans: Rhyme Time/Teacher Net scroll down

  3. Help a Child Write a Poem

  4. Daily Poetry Don’t miss

  5. Poetry Read - alouds& lesson plans

  6. Creative Writing Prompts and Poem Starters

  7. 10 Minute Poetry Writing Activities

  8. Poetry Lesson Plans teAchnology -an inclusive : including persuasive, narrative, rubrics, lesson plans...

  9. edhelper /Poetry

  10. Poetry Picnic!

  11. Poetry Writing by Karla Kuskin/Scholastic

  1. Writing Poetry with Rebus and Rhyme/ReadWrite Think

  2. RhymeZone: is an online tool for writers to find words.

  3. Poetry Has Shapes/Ed. Place

  4. Letter Tool:  Turning a narrative-

style letter into poetry Read,Write,Think

  1. Writing poetry with Jack Prelutsky

  1.   Poetry Break 20 - Poetry for Children /

A poem to match a nonfiction book /click on a link at the top of the page.

  1. Poetry Resources for Read a Winter Book-Write a Winter by Marci McGowan

  2. Poetry Idea Engine - Tool to help you write poetry/Scholastic

  3. Mrs. Hicks Poetry Samples by Susan

Silverman  An Apple A Day

  1. Color Poems—Using the Five Senses

  2. to Guide Prewriting

  1. 8 Portraits Poems & Examples

  1. Poem Picture Books and Their Uses in the Classroom/Reading Teacher

  2. The Power of Poems and Photos to Inspire Writing - Part 7 Teacher Net Gazette

  1. The Power of Poems and Photos to Inspire Writing – Pt. 8 By Hank Kellner 9/2013

  2. Story It/ Holiday &Seasonal Poems/ Poems to Write

  3. Bio Poem Images

  4. DLTK Poems for /about Teachers

  1. Plant Poem of Story Template

5W Poem


Line 1: Who
Line 2: What
Line 3: Where
Line 4: When
Line 5: Why



Walked the dogs,

Across the softball field,

After lunch,

Because all their legs wanted to move.

Hello Spring Poem


Good-bye,  sign of winter
Good-bye,  sign of winter
Good-bye, winter.
Spring's ahead!

Good-bye, sign of winter
Good-bye, sign of winter
Good-bye, winter.
Spring, hello!

Hello,  sign of spring
Hello,  sign of spring
Good-bye, winter.
Spring's in sight!

Hello,  sign of spring
Hello,  sign of spring
Good-bye, winter!
Hello, spring!


Good-bye and Hello!

Good-bye, ice skates.
Good-bye, sled.
Good-bye, winter.
Spring's ahead!

Good-bye, leggings.
Good-bye, snow.
Good-bye, winter.
Spring, hello!

Hello, crocus.
Hello, kite.
Good-bye, winter.
Spring's in sight!

Hello, jump rope.
Hello, swing.
Good-bye, winter!
Hello, spring! 

by Barbara Anthony

One Inch Tall Poem


What would you see if you were only one inch tall?  Read Shel Silverstein's poem below and then let your imagination run free.  Fill in the blanks with your creative details and descriptions from the point of view of being just one inch above the ground.


If you were only one inch tall

write detail one here

write detail two here

write detail three here

write detail four here

write detail five here

write detail six here

If you were one inch tall


One Inch Tall

If you were only one inch tall, you'd ride a worm to school.
The teardrop of a crying ant would be your swimming pool.
A crumb of cake would be a feast
And last you seven days at least,
A flea would be a frightening beast
If you were one inch tall.

If you were only one inch tall, you'd walk beneath the door,
And it would take about a month to get down to the store.
A bit of fluff would be your bed,
You'd swing upon a spider's thread,
And wear a thimble on your head
If you were one inch tall.

You'd surf across the kitchen sink upon a stick of gum.
You couldn't hug your mama, you'd just have to hug her thumb.
You'd run from people's feet in fright,
To move a pen would take all night,
(This poem took fourteen years to write--
'Cause I'm just one inch tall).

by Shel Silverstein

Rhyme Time with the Seasons Poem


Try to come up with three words that rhyme as you think about each of the seasons of the year.  Follow your creative urge and

make up words if you need to that describe what you’d like to express in your poem.  See the sample below for inspiration.


Spring is _____ , ________, _______
Summer is ________ , ______, _______
Autumn is ________ , ______, _______
Winter is ________ , ______, _______ 


Spring is showery, flowery, bowery
Summer is hoppy, choppy, poppy
Autumn is wheezy, sneezy, freezy
Winter is slippy, drippy, nippy

Spring Poem 


1) Think of a spring word (like leaves or flowers or spring or pick one from our spring word bank below) and write it on the first line.

2) Write the first word again on the second line and add another spring word to it.

3) Write the same two words again on the third line and add another spring word and so on until you have ten words in all.

Spring Word Bank

Bud     April     Iris      Sun       May

Leaf     Flower    Breeze   Wind  March

  Rain    Bees    Seed     Kite      Showers

Daffodil   Earth   Tulip   Robin   Birth



Line 1 one spring word

Line 2 one spring word plus a second spring word

Line 3 one spring word, a second spring word and a third to make a sentence

Line 4 add one more spring word until there are ten or so words in all


Spring brings
Spring brings flowers
Spring brings flowers back

Tulips grow
Tulips grow tall
Tulips grow tall and strong

Wish Poem


Line 1                           I wish I had
Line 2                           I wish I had
Line 3                           I wish I had
Line 4                           I wish I had
Line 5                           I wish I had
Line 6                           I wish I had
Line 7                           I wish I had
Lines 8-10                    I wish I had a magic wand

                                    to make all my wishes

                                    come true.


I wish I had three day weekends
I wish I had a nap at noon
I wish I had more time to play
I wish I had greener grass
I wish I had whiter teeth
I wish I had summer year round
I wish I had six pack abs
I wish I had a magic wand
to make all my wishes
come true.

Write an Animal Goes to School Poem


Line 1: I came across a (an)  (animal’s name)
Line 2: On the way to school
Line 3: His (body part) (was/were) very (description)
Line 4: And his (body part) (was/were) very (description)
Line 5: I hid him in my (location)
Line 6: So that teacher would not see
Line 7: He stayed there very quietly
Line 8: Until frightened by (a/an) (noun)


Elephant at School

I came across an elephant

On the way to school

His beak was very hot

And his flippers very cool

I hid him in my desk

So that teacher would not see

He stayed there very quietly

Until frightened by a bee

                    Author unknown

  1. A Bear of a Poem /How to Read Write Think NCTE

Developing Inferencing Skills via Poetry

                        Summary of ideas from Margriet Ruurs

                                        Reading Today, Aug./Sept. 2010

Abandoned Farmhouse

                                                            BY TED KOOSER

(Mr. Kooser’s entire poem can be found on Poetry Out Loud website.)

        He was a big man, says the size of his shoes

        on a pile of broken dishes by the house;

        a tall man too, says the length of the bed

        in an upstairs room; and a good, God-fearing man,

        says the Bible with a broken back

        on the floor below the window, dusty with sun;

        but not a man for farming, say the fields

        cluttered with boulders and the leaky barn.

Listen to the poem.

Describe the picture this poem painted in their minds.


        Who or what gave us the information about the person we never met?

        It was the shoe that told us about the size of the man

        The Bible that showed us that he read if a lot. ( had a broken back.)

List on chalkboard information given:

    He was big - told by the shoes.

    He was tall- told by the bed.

    He read a lot-  told by a broken back.


Note: BUT:

He was not a good farmer told by the boulders and the leaking barn.


Prepare for their own poem:

List three things about themselves ending with a But...


    He excelled at playing video games says the unbeatable high score

    He loved soccer says the scruffy ball.

    He sure liked pizza say the empty boxes on the kitchen table.

    But he wasn’t very good at math says the “C”  on his report card.

Tools for Rhyming

  1. RhymeZone rhyming dictionary & thesaurus

  1. Rebus Rhymes from Enchanted Learning

  1. Rhyming Dictionary

Take the following pattern and have the children write what the colors mean to them.

Take Strega Nona’s pattern and compare an action or character from a recent story; e.g.,  a non fiction story such as Gail Gibbon’s Galaxies, Horses, Owls, or Bears.

  1. Poetry is like directions for your imagination!written by two first grade teachers describing how they introduce poetry to their classes.

Standards - former NYS standards:                                          reading, writing, listening,  and speaking  for information, understanding, responding, expressing, developing critical thinking skills, and social interaction are all met through poetry.

    Poetry is great for teaching story structure - poems are short and concise. Using the Venn Diagram with thematic poems is great for teaching critical analysis.  Turning the summary of a story into a poem especially non-fiction is a great reinforcement of information.

    Poetry is a great tool for teaching skills such as phonics and parts of speech. Repetition of sounds and words reinforces in a delightful way.

    Poetry supports fluency; rhyme and rhythm helps the reader sense the next word as well as meaning.

    Poetry is entertaining and it needs to be read aloud - a great tool for  social interaction 

  Descriptive Poetry

Similes and analogies work well                                             with descriptive poetry

  1. Fizzy. Funny, Fuzzy descriptive

  2. Starry Night Poetry Frame/Crayola

       Publishing Poetry

  1. Poety Alive

  2. KidsWWrite

Poems by Definition by Margriet Ruurs

After reading various types of poems write the word Poem on the overhead or chalkboard. Draw a circle around it, as shown below. 

Ask the children to tell you what this word means to them. Elicit from them a definition of poem and features of poems, titles of poems they know, and other characteristics such as: words that rhyme; word pictures; rhythm; words that stand for sounds etc.

Color My World Poem


Line 1 :Name a color

Lines 2-4  Name 3 things that are that color

Lines 5-7 Name 3 things that sound like that color

Lines 8-10 Name 3 things that taste like that color

Lines 11-13 Name 3 things that feel like that color

Line 14 What can that color do?



a bruise on your leg,

bunches of grapes in a bowl,

a sweater that goes great with black,

the sound of power,

fruit juice poured into a glass

a school bell ringing, ringing

Grandma's rhubarb pie.

cold medicine served up on a tablespoon

squishy cough drops,

velvet covered cushions

pointy tip pentel markers,

the sky before lightning starts

Purple can take you for a sweet ride.

Color Poem

Yellow, yellow, hello yellow!

Welcome to a bright hot sun.

Yellow, yellow, let’s yell for yellow!

Juicy lemons,

Banana peels,

A singing canary in a cage,

The plastic ruler in my desk,

Yellow crayons in the box.

Yeah, let’s hear it for yellow!

The form is easy and can be adapted in any way.

----------, ----------hello ----! (color)

Welcome to ---------------. (something that color)

----,----, let’s ---- for------! (color, verb)

--------- -------- (something that color),


Yeah, let’s hear it for --------(color)!

  1. Writing Color Poetry

Emotional Animal Poem

Line 1     name an emotion

Line 2      is (a /and) adjective   animal name

Line 3     write an action filled phrase describing how the animal moves 

Line 4     write a phrase telling where the animal lives

Line 5     write a phrase that tells readers either why the animal acts the way it does or possibly how others react to it  

is a scavenging hyena,
slinking, tail between his legs
on the dry grassy savanna,
jealous of the lion's power.

Jealousy is a creeping snail
leaving a slimy trail as he slides
through the undergrowth of your mind
without a leg to stand on

Special thanks to Terri Street from Oklahoma for sharing this form with us along with two examples of her students' work.

Love That Poem


Love that noun,

like a noun loves to verb

I said I love that (noun from line 1)

like a (noun from line 2) loves to (verb from line 2)

Love to call (him/ her) in the morning

love to call (choice from line 5)

“Hey there, (noun from line 1)!”

Love That Boy 

Love that boy,
like a rabbit loves to run
I said I love that boy
like a rabbit loves to run
Love to call him in the morning
love to call him
“Hey there, son!”

by Walter Dean Myers

Love That Dog

Love that dog,
like a bird loves to fly
I said I love that dog
like a bird loves to fly
Love to call him in the morning
love to call him
“Hey there, Sky!”

-Jack from the book Love That Dog by Sharon Creech

Our thanks to Edgewater Park poetry loving teacher Suzanne Fox who shared Love That Dog with us.

Life Lessons Poem

Line 1    I'm learning to _____________
Line 2    And I'm learning to ___________
Line 3    And I'm learning to ___________
Line 4    Not __________________, when I_____________
Line 5    And I'm learning not to ____________
Line 6    And I'm learning not to _____________
Line 7    And I'm learning (though it sometimes really hurts me)
Line 8    Not to ___________
Line 9    And I'm learning to ________________
Line 10   When I _____________
Line 11   And I'm learning that it's much
Line 12   Much easier to be ___________


 I'm learning to say thank you.
And I'm learning to say please.
And I'm learning to use Kleenex,
Not my sweater, when I sneeze.
And I'm learning not to dribble.
And I'm learning not to slurp.
And I'm learning (though it sometimes really hurts me)
Not to burp.
And I'm learning to chew softer
When I eat corn on the cob.
And I'm learning that it's much
Much easier to be a slob.

by Judith Viorst

Biography Poem


Sometimes during a social studies or science unit, your teacher will ask you to do some research on a famous person.  Often,  that fact finding leads to writing a report or research paper.  As an alternative, try taking some of the facts from your notes and fill them into the form below to create an instant biography poem about your famous person.


Name of Famous Person
Born in
Child of
Worked as
Challenged by 
Personal traits 
Best known for


Abraham Lincoln 

Born in Kentucky
Child of Tom and Nancy Lincoln
Lived in a log cabin
Learned his lessons by candlelight
Overcame lack of formal education
Worked as a storekeeper, railsplitter, lawyer
Challenged by a fighting nation
Personal traits were honesty and determination
Always helped those who couldn’t help themselves
Never gave up on what he thought was right
Remembered as the 16th President of the United States



Line 1: I wish I 

Line 2: Like
Line 3: And I dream
Line 4: I am
Line 5: I used to 
Line 6: But now I
Line 7: I seem to
Line 8: But I'm really


I wish I could sing 
Like Sheryl Crow
And I dream sad story songs
I am hitting high notes
I used to softly hum along
But now I've found her voice in mine
I seem to be a mimic
But I'm really uniquely me

Auto -Bio Poem Pattern

Line1: Your first name only

Line 2: Four adjectives that describe you

Line 3: Son/daughter of _

Line 4: Lover of  (name three things-phrases work best)

Line5: Who feels (name three)

In the following sections, writer may name as many as they like.

Line 6: Who finds happiness in_

Line 7: Who needs_

Line 8: Who gives__

Line 9 Who fears__

Line 10: Who would like to see__

Line 11: Who enjoys ____

Line 12: Who likes to wear___

Line 13: Resident of city or neighborhood)

Line 14: You last name only

by Carol Simpson from Daily Poetry

  1. How to Write a Biopoem Read.Write. Think

  2. Tomie dePaola’s Adelita: A Bio Poem/Education World

A Bear of a Poem /How to Read Write Think NCTE

HAPPY  BIRTHDAY!  (to Grandpa)

by Gwyneth Higgins Age: 8.0















Writing Poetry


Tip:After reading an expository  text have the children choose interesting facts  that answers who, what, where, why, and when. Use a new line for each answer.  The children could draw and cut out a large picture of the topic and place their poems on top.

The diamante poem is helpful in summarizing  main characters in narratives or summarizing expository information such as science.

Diamantes Poems to


  Margriet Ruurs uses picture books to teach different aspects of writing: characters, dialogue, and others. She advocates using the diamante poem is diamond- shaped. It can help in writing any genre especially stories involving two opposite characters. Reading Today Oct. / Nov. 2010 p.46

    The diamond-shaped poem is seven lines long. The traditional form contains antonyms in lines 1 and 7 and descriptive words about those nouns.

Line 1 One noun, an antonym or contrast to line 7,            

            e.g. main character

Line 2 Two adjectives that describe line 1

Line 3 Three gerunds (verbs with - ing ending) that    

            relates to line 1

Line 4 Four nouns, the first two related to line 1,    

             the second two related to line 7

Line 5 Three gerunds that relate to line 7

Line 6 Two adjectives that describe line 7

Line 7 One noun, an antonym or contrast to line 1

Gwyneth Higgins, 8 years old, drew the unicorn  via adjectives and descriptive phrases; e.g., “…dancing on rainbows, sparkly horns, happy unicorns having fun… “

Her mother read to her every night from day one.

  1. Mrs. Friedman’s Poem for Emergent Readers

Teach Summarizing via Poetry

Select a chapter book that fits the theme of the weekly poetry lesson. After a chapter or two is read, ask a student or two to illustrate the important event that happened in the chapter. When the illustrations are finished, ask the class to help label or summarize the pictures. Try labeling in verse. Post each of the daily drawing in sequence on the bulletin board, wall, or chalkboard.   Each time a new posting goes up, reread the captions of the previous drawings - a good review via only the most important words/ideas.

When the chapter book is finished bind all the pictures together into a book adding a cover and a comment page at the end. If  the pictures were labeled in poetic language, form a poem out of the labels and place the poem at the end of the book.

Children take turns taking the book home to share with parents / caregivers and to get a written response from them.  ( Ideas received from Carol Simpson in Daily Poetry.)

Fun 15 Min. Poetry Writing Activities Scholastic Professional Books

Acrostic Poems-

- first letter of each line, read vertically, spells a word, a character, name.

-Short sentences that don’t rhyme

  1. -Use to describe subjects being studied in across the curriculum; use an acrostic for a book report

Acrostic Poems- KidZone Poetry

Acrostic Poems-ReadWriteThink

Acrostic Poems ReadWriteThin

Author Unknown

The same Gwyneth that drew the unicorn.

Luca’s art work in third grade

Examples of Diamantes Poetry 

two examples from a book written by Jane Heitman of a

third grade boy quoted by Margriet Ruurs - a diamond shaped diamante poem in 7 lines


hot, red

blazing, camping, raging

warm, light, clear, cold,

refreshing, melting, snowing

solid, fun


Thoughtful, ethical

Following, caring, helpful

Scholar,friend, friend, clown

Attention-seeking, fun-loving leading

Mischievous, troublesome


Check out The power of Poems by Margriet Ruurs - great illustrations and ideas

  1. Diamante Poems

  2. Pizzaz, Creative Writing &Storytelling, Opp-Beckman description for Diamante Poems

  3. Diamante Poems -Student Interactive/ReadWriteThink

Gwyneth as a toddler and later drew the unicorn with descriptive words and  wrote Thunder Storms

Constructed by Mary DeFalco  Up dated 6/14/19

Writing a Poem

  1. 1.Write the name of an object.__________________

  2. 2.Wist words that describe the object____________

  3. 3.Imagine that your object has five senses.

    What kinds of things does it see?





  1. 4.What kinds of things does your object like to do?                                                                         _____________________________________________

  2. 5.What does it dislike? ________________

a sample submitted by a student named Nancy

  1. “I” poems: invitations for students to deepen literary understanding by Linda Kucan

  2. Don ‘t miss- great ideas for developing I  poems. “Using literary models, teachers can invite and support student in composing first-person poetry about specific people, places, and perspectives. In the process, students can deepen their understanding of characters, setting, plot conflict, and narrative point of view.

Interactive Poetry-Writing Sites

  1. 5Write/Poetry 4U

  2. PoetryExpress

The waves

Dance in

The Moonlight

As the sand waves goodbye.


Sounds of Words: Onomatopoeia, Alliteration, Assonance

Mrs. Friedman  writes her own poetry to reflect what she wants to teach.

The above poem includes:

-Reversible words as on/no

- Was with a lower case and a capital letter

-Word families

-Different sentence structures - note the above  poem has a declarative, exclamatory, and a  interrogative sentence.


Written by Luca , 8 yrs. old, in third grade

Poetry Samples from my  grandsons

Third Grade

Reading Teacher / March 2006

Matias/Second Grade

Matias Salizar 4th Grade

Matias Salizar 4th Gr.

We only fear death.

Death we only fear.

Luca’s Goat Beast Sculpture. Gr. 4