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Why Students Should Be Writing Poetry

Why should students be writing poetry as a response to reading and a way to show what they know? The answer is really simple. The strategy requires students to synthesize text by pulling from their background knowledge, newly acquired concepts, personal connections, and inferences to produce an original understanding of text in a creative format.

Every teacher I know has expressed frustration at having students turn in work that has been copied and pasted from online sources. When students write poetry to demonstrate learning, plagiarism is eliminated because the work must be a student's personal response to the text or learning.

You don't have to teach an entire poetry unit before giving kids the opportunity to write poems. I'm sharing a few favorites that are simple to introduce. Nature Personified can be used to support science learning standards, the Color poem is a fun way for students to practice and review metaphors, and Tile poetry is on target for reluctant writers.


“Nature Personified” poems are perfect for celebrating Earth Day and spring. Use these directions when teaching this format to students.

Title: (Type of nature/natural event)

Line 1: Title (how does it happen, arrive, or begin)

Line 2: (Tell what it does)

Line 3: (Tell where it happens)

Line 4: (Tell how it performs or works)

Line 5: (Explain how it leaves/ends)

Here is an example you can use:


It rushes down from its playground

Watering earth’s parched soil.

Rain doesn’t search for the perfect spot to fall,

It plays hide and seek or sprinkles little kisses,

And then disappears until next time.

Put a twist on the nature personified poem by having students choose a theme or topic from their reading and use the same format.


Another student favorite is the color poem. A color poem is one that uses a specific color to express the mood of the poet.

Line 1: Your color

Line 2: An item that is your color

Line 3: Another item that is your color

Line 4: Your color sounds like

Line 5: Your color tastes like

Line 6: Your color feels like

Line 7: Your color sounds like

Line 8: Your color looks like

Line 9: An action the color does

Here's an example poem for the color green:


Green is life abundant and growing

Green is freedom flowing through your veins

It fills the air with sweet music of spring

It tastes like fresh cherry limeade in the summer

And feels like goosebumps on my arm

Green sounds like spinning tires on a race track

It looks like a soft blanket covering the earth.

Green reminds us to be grateful.

*If you want to differentiate the assignment for higher-level thinkers, have them replace the word green with synonyms throughout the poem.


You’ve probably heard of magnetic poetry. Maybe you’ve got some of those magnetic word tiles on your fridge right now. If you're not familiar with it, magnetic poetry started out as the idea of individual words printed on small magnets, which might be related to a particular theme or topic. The magnetic word tiles are creatively arranged into poetry on a refrigerator or other metal surface.

I designed a tile poetry activity that helped motivate and engage my reluctant writers. It's a similar idea to magnetic poetry. Download the free digital tile poetry resource to use in your classroom.

If you missed my last post, be sure to go back and grab teaching tips and learn more about the idea of "show it like a poet". You'll find helpful resources and learn how you can use poetry as an assessment tool. Be sure to subscribe to the weekly Cheat Sheet to get freebies and more teaching tips and ideas just like these. If you're looking for digital poetry options, then check out the Digital Poetry Unit and Activities bundle.

How are you incorporating poetry into your curriculum this month?


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