Poetry: Different Types

When we teach poetry to children, we often focus on the normal poem structure that most people think of as poetry.  However there are many different types of poetry that children love to read.  A little time spent introducing your child to these other forms of poetry will make your study of poems much more interesting.


Children will love the humor found in these short poems.  A limerick follows a certain pattern in both line length and rhythm.  It also should always end on a funny note much like a punch line to a joke.  Here are some fun limericks that you can read with your children.


Haiku poems have only three lines with a set number of syllables for each line.  Line 1 has 5 syllables, line 2 has 7 syllables, and line 3 has 5 syllables.  This type of poem originated in Japan, but is now popular in the United States as well.  Most haiku deal with a simple view of something in nature around the poet.  You can find haiku about various nature subjects here written by Anthony Nixon Sandberg.

Free Verse Poetry

Free verse poems are poems that differ from most poetry because they do not have a set rhyme scheme or rhythm pattern.  This type of poetry is usually used to portray strong emotions about a subject.  Here are some interesting free verse poems to read with your children.

  • “After the Sea-Ship” by Walt Whitman
  • “Fog” by Carl Sandburg
  • “Face Poem” by Amy Ludwig VanDerwater

While children love listening to and reading normal poetry with its rhyme and rhythm, it is important for them to understand that not all poetry fits that specific framework.  You can help your child have a broader view of poetry by introducing them to many different types of poetry.  What other kinds of poetry do you like to read with your children?

Photo by: nevil zaveri

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