Teaching Kids – Writing Poems

After reading several poems, your child will probably be excited about writing a poem of their own.  It may seem overwhelming or hard, but writing poems can actually be an easy and rewarding experience.

Choose a Poem Type

There are several different types of poems that are simple for children to write when starting out.

  • Rhyming Couplet – A rhyming couplet is a simple two line poem with rhyming words at the end of each line.  This is a great place to start with young children as it is not too long.  A more advanced child could write several rhyming couplets together in one poem.
  • Haiku – This poem does not have to rhyme, but must follow a set number of syllables instead.  A haiku should focus on something your child observes in nature.
  • Limerick – Children love writing limericks because they are meant to be funny.  However, limericks can be challenging because they must have a certain rhyme scheme and pattern of stressed and unstressed syllables.  You may want to save the limerick writing exercises for your upper elementary children.
  • Free Verse Poetry – Free verse poetry is another easy type of poetry to write.  Without rhyme or rhythm patterns, it allows your child to focus on having emphasizing important ideas and emotions through line breaks.

Brainstorm Topic Ideas

Before writing poems, a young poet should always brainstorm ideas to write about.  Have your child list things that would work for the type of poem he is writing.  Help your child choose the best topic from the list.  Then if the poem needs rhyming words, have him list pairs of rhyming words that he could use in his poem.

Writing Poems to Display

Once your child has brainstormed, start putting lines on paper while trying to stay within the required form for the poem.  Your child’s rough draft can then be revised and proofread to make it even better.  After it is completely finished, have your child make a neat final copy to share with other people.  He could also draw or paint a picture to display with his poem.

Writing poems is a great way to share our feelings and experiences.  Try it with your children, and you may be amazed at the poems they can create. You could even try writing poems with them. How often do you have your children write poetry?

Photo by: Alec Couros

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