Teaching How to Write a Poem

I love teaching students how to write a poem because it gives students the chance to examine, analyze and express their feelings creatively. Since April is poetry month, I thought in this blog post we can examine how as teachers we can help our students to express their hearts on a page.

Inventory Your Class Library

The first thing I suggest that you do is check your library and see how many books on poetry you have available to your students. Gather and make a collection of various poetry packets with the same genre or author so your students have poems to read and respond to. You can easily add poetry to your monthly calendar routine, perfect for early primary classrooms.

Start Reading Poems Aloud and Encourage Your Students To

Get your students ears ready by reading them poetry. Encourage them to read it aloud and start to train their ears to hear the rhythm of poems. Help them to develop their expressiveness and fluency with repeat readings.

Discuss Poetry Techniques and Devices

Teach students that poets use repetition, alliteration, line breaks and sometime rhyme to influence the sound of their poems. That poems are sometimes written about small details or abstract feelings and topics. One technique, I use is using the five senses to write poetry.

After spending some time reading and discussing poems. It is time to attempt a poem. I like to start with free verse poems because they do not rhyme. Sometimes students are so hung up with finding a rhyming word, the end poem doesn’t convey at all what they meant. To avoid that, being with free verse so they can focus on content. There is a lot of freedom and creative expression allowed so it encourages even the most reluctant student to write. How to write a poem can seem daunting to students but by teaching these literary devices they will get it in no time!

Make a Chart

After examining poetry start to teach how to write a poem by creating a chart of what we like and don’t like about poetry. This is good to do because it will force students to calm their mind and really dig deep about how they feel about poems. It will also give you a good idea of how your students are feeling. I create a chart you can use for each student, click to download automatically.

Examine Student Samples

If you have a few samples from previous students go ahead and share them. Discuss how each poem is about anything but it captures an object, idea, thought, feeling, moment, concept in a few words.

Writing their First Free Verse Poem together

Have students close their eyes and guide them through an imagery of eating an apple. When they open their eyes. Ask them what it tasted like and record this. Then ask another student. Keep recording their thoughts. By the end you will have various statements. Work with the students to put their ideas together to form a free verse poem.

Independent Work

Students will write their own poem.


After students have had a chance to write various poems. Have them choose one to illustrate. Publish one poem from each student and create a class book.

I really enjoy poetry and I hope that this blog post helped you get some ideas for teaching how to write a poem with your class. Enjoy this small freebie as a token of my gratitude for all of you who come back to read my blog posts as I publish. Your support is appreciated.

How to Write a Poem