Why I enjoy teaching poetry
• More opportunities for reading, writing, listening and speaking practices
• Expand vocabulary knowledge
• Play with the language
• Work with different rhythms and rhyme patterns
• Increase motivation
How to get started?
• Do you know poems in your native language?
• Is there a particular poem from your country that you like?
• Who are the famous poets from your country?
• Have you written poems before?
• Was it in English or your native language?
• Did you enjoy writing poetry?
Using Poetry in Reading Classes
• Start with poems that are manageable
• Talk about the differences between stories and poems
• Give students a chance to illustrate poems
• Read a variety of poems out loud
• Give students a chance to read poems out loud
• Act out the poem
• Discuss the vocabulary used in different poems (“Poetic Word” Wall)
• Encourage students to share their personal interpretations
• Be sure to include some poems written for children
Using Poetry in Writing Classes
• Read a variety of poems first
• Introduce different poetry forms as models
• Use poetry throughout the syllabus
Poems based on Books
• Choose a book and read it for the children
• Ask them to draw what they most like about it
• Write four lines to describe the drawing
Mr Spider, Alan Maley
• Choose a poem and read it aloud for the children:
• Talk about where each line of the poem ends and how it creates rhyme, affects
the meaning of the poem, and might even make the poem look a particular way.
• Read it again as a group.
• Select some words that rhyme. In this case, I selected: wall / fall; afraid / made;
mean / clean; below / go.
• Help them write another poem individually, in pairs, or as a group using the
words selected and about the same topic.
Seeing the spider climbing up the wall,
My first thought was, ‘it will fall!‘
I was also so afraid
When I saw the web it’s just made!
Then I shouted, ‘spiders are so mean!’
But then I saw how the room was clean.
I sat with all the children down below
And said, ‘little spider, please, don’t go!’
As a follow-up activity, you can ask them to read it
aloud, and draw a picture of a spider.
• Show the child how to write an acrostic poem, in which the first letter of each
line spells out his or her name, when read top to bottom.
• Once the child writes a poem based on his or her own name, the child can write
about family members, friends, or pets.
• If the children are too young, you can ask them to draw rather than write, and
read it aloud.
K angaroos live in Australia
A lligators like dirty rivers
I nsects are everywhere and
O ctopuses live in the sea.
H orses are strong and
E lephants too. My
N ose moves like
R abbits noses when
I nsects bite it.
Q uack, a duck said when it saw an
U mbrella protecting an
E gg from the rain!
• Haiku Hangman
• Read a definition
• Ask them the following questions to be discussed as
1. Do you like poetry? If you, which poets do you read, and why?
2. Have you ever written poetry? If so, do you show it to other people? Why? / Why not?
3. Have you ever read or written a haiku?
4. When and where did the haiku originate?
5. Are there any rules for writing haikus?
I hate my alarm
It always wakes me early
When dreams are still there
Today beauty fades
Leaving only dead flowers
Clouds dance in the sky,
Pure white cotton on blue heights,
I love my kitten
She’s always in the kitchen
Purring all around.
Tips for writing haikus:
The haiku has a total of three lines.
Line one and three should have five syllables.
Line two should have seven syllables.
Write about experiencing life through your
Kinkakuji (金閣寺, Golden Pavilion), Kyoto/Japan. Malu Sciamarelli, 2013
The flowers are so
Beautiful! So much peace and
Love – togetherness.
The flowers are so
Graceful, they make me feel so
Relaxed and in peace.
Peace and calmness, so
Beautiful and colourful,
Just like a rainbow.
White flowers are so
Graceful and with those green leaves –
Peace all around us.
Spring is so peaceful
In Japan or anywhere…
Nature – always there.
Creating a Found Poem
Your Favourite Song
• Ask them individually to name their favourite song
• Give students strips of paper with the fifth line of each song
• As they listen to the songs, they have to identify the lines
• Make students compare their answers
• When all the sentences are identified, ask them to arrange them in any order
they wish to make a poem
• Ask them to read each of the poems out loud
Open your eyes,
Life’s what happens to you when you’re busy
making other plans
Whenever I’m alone with you
I go to the other side of Paradise
It will be just a perfect day
And if thou should ask my love
I’ll love you more with every breath
And build a ladder to the stars
Do you dream to touch me and smile down
Oh, God help the beast in me!
I knew, I knew, I’d lose you
You’ve got to learn although it’s very hard
Take me to the other side, Arisha
Beautiful Boy, John Lennon
Bohemian Rhapsody, Queen
Lovesong, The Cure
Just a perfect day, Lou Reed
Truly, Madly Deeply, Savage Garden
Thorn in my pride, Black Crowes
The Beast in me, Johnny Cash
No need to argue, The Cranberries
You’ve got to learn, Charles Aznavour
Forever young, Bob Dylan
Jamie come to me, Robert Burns (poem)
Explain what a cinquain poem is:
• the first line is a one-word title, the subject of the poem;
• the second line is a pair of adjectives describing that title;
• the third line is a three-word phrase that gives more information about the
• the fourth line consists of four words describing feelings related to that subject;
• the fifth line is a single word synonym or other reference for the subject from
‘Getting to know you’ with cinquains - Interview a classmate and use what you
learn to write a cinquain about that person:
• What is your name? (person’s name – one word)
• What are some adjectives that describe you? (two adjectives describing the
• What are some activities you enjoy? (three -ing action words)
• What do you think makes you a good friend to others? (a four-word phrase
• Do you have a nickname? (one-word nickname)
Studying, cooking, reading
Really funny with friends
Reading, sleeping, cooking
Someone that is trustworthy
Swimming, reading, eating
Someone that is caring
Programming, photographing, exploding
Always got your back
Sleeping, fighting, eating
He ain’t no coward
Watching, basketballing, sleeping
Very trustworthy he is
Drawing, video-gaming, watching
To have good sense
Reading, travelling, working
Being true all times
Running, reading, praying
Always happy when together
• Once they match the names to the poems, ask them to read the poems out
• Ask them to describe the haiku and cinquain poems, and explain what an
acrostic poem is
• Ask them to re-tell briefly some of the fairy tales they are familiar with, then
read a fairy tale of your choice, different from what they know
• Ask them to write an acrostic poem: FAIRY TALES
F irst you need to dream.
A fter that, you must feel.
I magine that fantasy is real.
R eality gets so boring when
Y ou learn that what is unreal
T astes better just for a few.
A ll you got is nothing…
L ife has sent you no mail that day.
E verything is not real
S o live in a fairy tale.
F or you,
A fairy tale
I n your life
Y our way
A nalyse the world,
L ess disturbed. But in the
E nd, this is how it is
S upposed to be.
F alling down the rabbit hole,
A lice was feeling sick.
I llness took her everything,
R educing her to absolutely nothing.
Y elling in pain,
T earing her thoughts apart,
A lice could not feel anything.
L ooking for help, she shouted,
E nding noticing that she had no voice at all.
S uddenly, waking from a nightmare, she felt
hungry and ate the magic cake.
Better intonation, pronunciation
of words in general
Thinking directly in English,
without any kind of translation
Limiting themselves to the
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