The Power Of Poetry: A Beginner’s Guide To Writing Poetry

Interest in poetry has been on the rise lately. Among students and children, surveys suggest that today around a quarter of them read poetry recreationally and around a fifth write poetry recreationally, which is a significant increase compared to the last decade. Similar significant increases in interest in poetry have been seen among adults, especially young adults

Since the interest is clearly there, it would make sense to incorporate poetry into a curriculum and to use it to increase student’s engagement with learning. To help, we will explain some of the powerful benefits of teaching poetry as well as provide activities and resources that will assist in teaching poetry to students and children.  

The power of poetry

Poetry can be a powerful tool in the classroom. Research and scientific studies have shown that students who engage with poetry as part of their learning demonstrate higher reading skills, creative writing skills, and enthusiasm for literature. Poetry also gives students the opportunity to increase their vocabulary and oral communication skills. Poetry also often allows students to gain higher cultural awareness by being introduced to views, experiences, and societies beyond their own. In addition to all of that, reading poetry has been shown to be good for a person’s mental health and can help students learn empathy and compassion for others.

So, it should go without saying that there are lots of benefits to teaching students poetry. But are there methods to present poetry to students in a way that even those who find poetry intimidating or uninteresting will find engaging?

Poetry activities

To help increase interest in learning poetry, many teachers find it helpful to introduce students to it using different activities. Listed below are just some ideas of activities that may help students find poetry more appealing or exciting.

  • Have students read their favorite poem aloud. Ask them to explain why they like it and why they feel a connection to it. 
  • Create a poem by having each student contribute a line. 
  • Introduce a new type of poem (acrostic, limerick, haiku, etc.) to students each week and hold a weekly challenge where students write a different style of poem. 
  • Have students memorize a poem and recite it back.
  • Have students write poetry about their favorite thing from popular culture or from the perspective of a favorite fictional character.
  • Ask students to find a song they like and see if they can find what poetic techniques the artist used, such as rhyme scheme, metaphor, or personification, for example.
  • Build “pop sonnets” by challenging students to transform a modern song into a specific type of poem or to transform a classic poem into a modern pop song. 
  • Challenge students to make a poem using a weird word list or words that don’t seem to go well together. 

Additional and poetry and writing resources

Writing poetry is an exciting way to build vocabulary. And we provide much more than vocabulary resources that can inspire novice and advanced poets alike. Browse our writing guides related to poetry for more ideas.

More Poetry Activities For Kids

In honor of World Poetry Day, we’ve crafted this collection of surefire ways to instill appreciation and excitement for the vast world of poetry.

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Writing Activities For Elementary School Students 

Looking for ways to get your elementary student to write more? We’ve compiled activities within 6 themes including poetry, weather, and space.

Writing Activities for Middle School Students 

These writing activities for middle schoolers can help them improve their skills and channel creativity. Try out a writing activity yourself, too!

Check out our hub for all you need to learn and teach the essentials of English grammar.

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