Activity: Writing Short Poems


Goals

To improve writing skills; to engage in creative thinking.

Level

Lower Intermediate - Advanced

Preparation

  1. Download Senses Poem handout (PDF). At least one copy per group is needed, preferably one copy per student.
  2. Download Who, What, Where, Why Poem handout (PDF). At least one copy is needed per group, preferably one copy per student.
  3. Download Simile Poem (PDF). At least one copy is needed per group, preferably one copy per student.
  4. Download Pattern Poem (PDF). At least one copy is needed per group, preferably one copy per student.
  5. Download "The Bug" audio recording (MP3) audio recording.

Directions

  1. Divide the class into small groups of 2-3 students and give each student (or group) a copy of Senses Poem handout.
  2. As a class, brainstorm ideas of subjects and write the suggestions on the board.
  3. As a class, choose one subject and create sentences about the subject (I see.., I feel…, I taste…, I hear…, I smell…, I think…)
  4. In their groups, have students write a Sense Poem based on the model provided. Groups that finish quickly can illustrate their poem with original drawings.
  5. Have each group share their poem with the class.
  6. Introduce Who, What, Where, Why Poems to the class and give each student (or group) a copy of the Who, What, Where, Why Poem handout.
  7. As a class, create a Who, What, Where, Why Poem using examples of “who, what, where, and why” provided by the students.
  8. In their groups of 2-3, have students write an original Who, What, Where, Why Poem. Groups that finish quickly can illustrate their poems with original drawings.
  9. Have each group share their poem with the class.
  10. Give each student (or group) a copy of the Simile Poem handout and review similes as a class using the first part of the handout.
  11. As a class, brainstorm seasons, animals, and objects. Choose one of each category to be used in the poem and ask students to complete the sentences.
  12. In groups of 2-3, have students write an original Simile Poem. Groups that finish quickly can illustrate their poems with original drawings.
  13. Have each group share their poem with the class.
  14. As a class, have students listen to “The Bug” recording and write down all of the words. Play the recording as many times as needed for all of the students to write down all of the words. You can tell them the poem consists of 4 sentences and 14 words. Check the words as a class.
  15. Give each student (or group) a copy of the Pattern Poem handout with the correct words. Ask the students to see if they can identify any patterns.
  16. On the board, write all of the patterns the students come up with.
  17. Ask the students to write their own poem based on one of the patterns they identified. Groups that finish quickly can illustrate their poems with original drawings.
  18. Have each group share their poems with the class.

Adapt It To Your Class

  • Collect your students’ work and post them around the classroom to show their great work!
  • Studying a specific verb pattern? Limit the Who, What, Where, Why Poem to that verb tense.
  • Not enough time for all of these poems? Try focusing your lesson plan on only one type of poem.
  • To encourage collaboration, have students in groups and have each person add only one line to the poem. Want to make it silly? Don’t let the students know what their group members are writing!

National Poetry Month Content Spotlight