Writing Poetry with Children

  • Published on April 8, 2022

teaching children to write poetry

With this month being National Poetry Month in the US and 17 April being International Haiku Day,  I thought it was timely to share some of our poetry resources. Here in Australia, we celebrate poetry month in August, but I don’t think we need wait until then. We can celebrate again in August or make every month poetry month. No month should go by without enjoying some poetry anyway.

Poetry is a great introduction to the rhythms and sounds of our language. Children are introduced to it from a young age through nursery rhymes and picture books. Some of children’s favourite picture books are those that read like poems with rhythm, rhyme and repetition. The books of Dr Seuss and Julia Donaldson come immediately to mind. But, of course, there are many others too.

When they enter school, children love listening to poetry and experimenting with writing poems of their own. Here at readilearn we have some resources to help you help them get started on their poetry writing journey. All poetry resources are found in their own section of the literacy collection.

Writing poetry

ideas for teaching poetry to chiildren

Writing Haiku with Children — This collection includes five haiku poems for reading and five stimulus photos for writing. It can be used to introduce children to the structure of haiku poetry and to encourage them to write haiku poems of their own. The resource includes information about the structure of haiku poetry as well as teaching suggestions.

If You Were an Animal poem and teacher notes

If You Were an Animal — poem and teaching notes — The teacher notes accompanying this poem provide suggestions for both English and Science.

English teaching suggestions include:

  • Rhyming words
  • Questions and statements
  • Opposites
  • Writing
  • Recitation and performance

Science teaching suggestions include:

  • Features of living things
  • Needs of living things
  • Habitats of living things

write your own I love poem

Write your own “I love” poem — This resource encourages children to write their own poems by innovating on the traditional camping song ‘I love the Mountains’. Great for even beginning writers.

Christmas poetry

Christmas poetry — writing with children — Although this resource says poems for Christmas, the five different types of poems that are included can be written at any time of the year. As well as teaching suggestions, there is at least one example of each type of poem and a template on which children can write poems of their own. The types of poems are:

  • acrostic
  • sound
  • haiku
  • shape
  • “I love”

Little Miss Muffet themed lessons for reading and writing

Let’s read and write with Little Miss Muffet — Lessons encourage children to contribute ideas to discussions that may lead to writing. Writing can occur at almost any point throughout the lessons and can involve modelled writing by the teacher, collaborative writing between teacher and children, and independent student writing.

Row Row Row Your Boat - the Nursery Rhyme - teaching ideas

Row, Row, Row Your Boat — the Nursery Rhyme — The rhyme can be used to help develop children’s language, creativity and writing skills when they use the familiar structure to create new poems of their own.

Other poetry resources include

Learning with Hey Diddle Diddle

Learning with Hey Diddle Diddle  — Activities include rhyming, word meaning, synonyms and word substitutions.

Once Upon a Billabong video

Once Upon a Billabong — Read along with Norah as she reads her original Australian Ballad, Once Upon a Billabong. The story promotes kindness and caring for each other and also includes a subtle environmental message.

Ten Tiny Turtles is a rhyming poem to support a turtle-themed unit of work

Ten Tiny Turtles — A short rhyme to learn by heart or include in a biological sciences unit about living things.

These are just a few of our poetry resources. You can find them all here.

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    HI Norah, these are great ideas. Michael used to have to write poetry for school assignments but he hasn’t mentioned anything recently. It is lovely for children to learn to enjoy poetry.

    It is, Robbie. I knew you’d agree. I’m sure Michael will come back to poetry writing one day. He has a good role model in you.

    Good stuff. I can’t imagine growing up without the rhythm and rhymes from early books and Mother Goose. It is great that you have so many means for young children to access poetry and to do poetry.

    I know Poetry Month will mean a lot to you, as a poet. Those early experience with language are so important for our young children.

Please share your thoughts. I love it when you do.

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