12 Poetry Activities for Children

When it comes to poetry, there are so many different angles to explore. It’s essential for building literacy skills and encouraging children to play with language. Through poetry, you can delve deeper into the art of subjectivity and how poets use words to convey several different emotions.

Annotating a Poem Activity

Annotating poetry helps you to further understand and connect to the text. With this worksheet, you can take notes on your feelings, literary devices, rhyme scheme, topic, author, and more. You can also illustrate parts of the poem, underline essential words, or highlight phrases you enjoy. The possibilities are endless! This resource contains three poems for your kids to decipher and guides on how they can do it. It would be a great introduction before sending your students off on a quest to find their poems to annotate. It’s also a great opportunity to discuss as a class or small group to understand how each person can find a different meaning and the subjectivity of poetry.

Poetry Stations

The idea with these poetry stations is to get kids inspired using lots of different sources, from their pictures and drawings to color cards and poetic devices. In addition, this will allow you to utilize a whole space dedicated to poetry for a fun lesson like no other!

The stations should be set up around the classroom or whatever space works for you, and students can take turns around each station to try the various types of poetry prompts.

It will encourage creativity and flex their imaginations. However, they will also learn and develop other essential skills such as handwriting, drawing, and ELA– specifically understanding and using literary and poetic devices.

Collaborative Poetry Project

Collaborative poetry involves working with others to create a finished poem. The beauty of collaborative poetry is that it combines many people’s creativity and subjective ideas. This resource includes prompts for three different poems about happiness, lunch, and rain. But you don’t have to stop there! Your students can collaborate on any subject they choose. Not only is this activity great for developing creativity and critical thinking, but it’s also great for building teamwork.

Paper Bag Poetry Activity

It is an incredibly versatile activity and will keep your kids feeling inspired for hours! A bunch of word prompts for students and children to pull out of the paper bag to inspire and challenge them to write poetry. It doesn’t have to be a paper bag; you can use a hat, a sack, or whatever you have to hand!  This resource is great for building and improving not just students’ poetry-creating and writing skills and abilities but also their general English language and communication skills and abilities.

Complete the Poem Activity

A complete-the-poem-style activity is great for checking kindergarten and first-grade students’ understanding of basic rhyme and poetry. Students will cut and paste the rhyming words to complete the poem, then illustrate a picture of the meaning of the poem. It is a great introduction to poetry for your little ones this National Poetry Month.

Slam Poetry

Slam poetry is a form of spoken word poetry that combines some aspects of traditional poetry with performance. It has many elements, including creative writing, competition, audience participation, and performance. Chicago’s first Poetry Slam took place in the 1980s as a concept created by a local poet named Marc Kelly. These events were designed to revive people’s love for poetry and make it accessible to everyone. Having a slam poetry competition is great for encouraging confidence in children when speaking in front of an audience. In addition, the student reciting poetry needs to think about how they present themselves, their delivery, and how their performance affects the audience and their reception of the poetry. This teaching pack contains all you need to introduce slam poetry to your students and get started on hosting your poetry slam!

Haiku Template 

This Haiku template gives kids an opportunity to explore different variations of poetry. A haiku is a poem consisting of three lines – five syllables in the first line, seven in the second line, and five in the final line. Haiku traditionally don’t rhyme, as they are so short and are typically written on nature and the natural world. Traditionally, haiku will also utilize a “cutting word.” It is a word that creates a rhythmic pause or breaks in the poem. It’s used to show the disconnection and juxtaposition between two objects. Haiku poems are an interesting form of poetry that adheres to strict guidelines, making it easy and accessible for kids to experiment with the art form. This worksheet is a great way for children to get down their initial ideas and have a go at writing a haiku poem for themselves.

Blackout Poetry 

Blackout poetry is the name of any poem derived from blacking out any unwanted words from a paragraph, book, sign, etc., using whatever inking or coloring tools you have on hand. The purpose of Blackout poetry is to draw new meaning from something initially made by another mind. Many blackout poets try to derive almost an opposite sense from their starting block of text, using words to string together a new story from the initial one given.

Poetry Scavenger Hunt 

To complete this activity, your students must research and find 13 specific poems, making a great opportunity for group work and collaboration! In addition, they’ll need to find a selection of different poems, ranging from finding a poem by a child author to a haiku about a fish! Not only is this a super exciting activity, but it’s also good for exposing your kids to all kinds of poetry they might not have seen before. So put your detective hats on and get searching!

Invent Your Type of Poetry 

You can encourage creativity in your students by having them create their type of poetry. Their task is to think about different elements of poetry and select which ones to use in their newly invented form of poetry. For example, what is the purpose of the poetry? How long will the type of poetry be? Will your poetry use specific poetic devices such as similes and metaphors? After reflecting, students will write a news article showcasing this incredible new form of poetry.

Types of Poetry Activity Cards 

These Types of Poetry Activity Cards are designed to deepen your student’s understanding of the different forms of poetry while having fun. These versatile cards can be used in many ways, such as a challenge for fast finishers, as a stand-alone lesson, or even as quiz cards! With eight other poetry-related activity cards, kids will be prompted to do things such as “read a famous soliloquy” or “find two poems that are different types but about the same subject.”

Acrostic Poetry

An acrostic poem is one in which the first letter of each line spells out a word, name, or phrase when read vertically. The word acrostic comes from the Greek akrostikhos. “Akros” means “at the end” or “outermost,” and “stikhos” means “line of verse.” So, the word acrostic implies a line of verse at the end of the outermost edge of the page. Although acrostic poems don’t always rhyme, they use other poetic devices like alliteration, similes, and rhythm to improve the reader’s experience. In addition, you can use punctuation and full sentences or short phrases – it’s totally up to you! Acrostic poems can be a great introduction to creative writing for young children. Having a subject – such as “spring,” “fall,” “mom,” or “happy” – keeps children on topic, while the blank lines allow their creativity to shine.

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