Poems are like Flowers

There dozens of types of poems, each equally beautifully crafted to convey emotions, thoughts, feelings, stories, and impressions of life.

That is what poems are meant to do: express something from the author to the reader. Today we’ll talk about a few of the most common types of poems that you will teach and use with children.

Limerick

Kids adore these poems! They are funny, sassy, and kooky. These poems are named after Limerick, Ireland. Limericks, like all poems, follow a set of rules.

  • 5 lines
  • start with “There once was a…”
  • last line is really silly or unbelievable
  • rhyme: aabba (1st, 2nd, 5th lines rhyme; 3rd and 4th lines rhyme)
  • lines 1, 2 and 5 have 7-10 syllables; lines 3 and 4 have 5-7 syllables

Limericks are fairly easy to write, but it helpful to have students envision a funny situation (like monkeys turning blue!) while they write. Plus there a several limerick creator engines online, too.

Acrostic

Bright beyour Easter (1)Acrostic poems spell out a word or phrase. You can do these poems with any age or level of children. Often, kids enjoy using their name, a favorite animal or place, or a favorite verb, noun, adverb, or adjective.

After deciding on the anchor word, students write a word or phrase connected to the main theme AND that starts with the letter on that line. Older students can try to incorporate the letters on each line into the word or phrase, but this can be challenging.

There are no rules about syllables per line or rhyming.

Haiku

Bright beyour Easter (2)These three-line poems are short and sweet, but can be challenging to construct due to the tight syllable rules.

  • line 1: 5 syllables
  • line 2: 7 syllables
  • line 3: 5 syllables

Originally a Japanese poetry form, the themes that haiku’s cover can range from nature to love to food.

Cinquain

The cinquain poem has several variations, but at its root it is a 5 line poem with a specific number of syllables on each line.

  • 2 syllables
  • 4 syllables
  • 6 syllables
  • 8 syllables
  • 2 syllables

There is no requirement to rhyme any lines, but you could always challenge your students to create a rhyming cinquain poem!

Diamante

Bright beyour Easter (5)This is a poem that actually looks like a diamond! It can have one or two subjects, but the two subject are usually related or you move from general (flowers) to specific (lilacs)

  • line 1: subject/beginning subject 1 word
  • line 2: 2 describing words about the subject/beginning subject
  • line 3: 3 action words about the subject/beginning subject
  • line 4: a 4 word phrase about the subject
  • line 5: 3 action words about the subject/end subject
  • line 6: 2 describing words about the subject/end subject
  • line 7: subject/end subject 1 word

What kinds of poems do you write with your students? Tell me in the comments!

~Meg

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