In this set of activities adaptable for grades K-3, parents and educators will find ideas for teaching about poems and poetry. These activities are designed to complement the BrainPOP Jr. Poems topic page, which includes a movie, quizzes, online games, printable activities, and more.
Classroom Activities for Teaching Poems
Remind your students that a syllable is a unit of sound in a word. Have your students come up with different one-, two-, and three-syllable words. Then as a class, make up a song that uses words that only have one syllable. You may want to create your song to the tune of a popular song. Pick a topic together and brainstorm different one-syllable words associated with the topic. Write the song together and give different parts of the song for pairs to sing together. If possible, perform the song at Open House or during a celebration.
Review with your children that a haiku has three lines. The first line has five syllables, the second has seven, and the third has five syllables. Show different examples of haikus. Discuss each haiku with your children. What is the poem about? How does it make them feel? How are the haikus alike and different? Then have students write their own haikus. They may want to look through old journals or diaries to find ideas, or you may want to assign a topic to go with something they are studying in science or social studies. Have your children draw illustrations to go with their haikus and collect them together to create a haiku anthology.
Acrostic Poem Pairs
Have partners create an acrostic poem about each other. Partners may wish to use each other’s names as the base of their acrostic poem, or they may want to focus on a different attribute of their partner to write a poem. Partners can help each other write the poems and discuss different words they can use. Partners can also proofread and check for spelling errors. Have partners share their poems with the whole class.
Poem in my Pocket
Have your students use construction paper to create a pocket. Simply take a small rectangular piece of paper, fold it in half, and staple or tape the sides together, leaving an opening at the top. Then have students attach string or yarn to their pockets and hang them around their necks. Encourage them to decorate their pockets and write “Poem in my Pocket.” Then have students create a poem of their choice to put in their pockets. Throughout the day, students can ask each other to read aloud the poems in their pockets. During lunch and recess, other students may ask them to read the poems as well. Review good practices of reading aloud, such as inflection, annunciation, and proper, consistent speed.
Bring in old magazines or newspapers for your students. Students can cut out a few key words and write a poem around those words. Have them write their poems and paste their key words on a piece of paper. Have students share their poems with the whole class or small groups.
Family and Homeschool Activities for Teaching Poems
Together with your child, search magazines for small and simple pictures to cut out, or print out images from the Internet. Look for images that are homonyms, such as “bee” or “ant.” Have your child use these images to create rebus poems by arranging the pictures in different order. Your child can glue the pictures to the page and write the connecting words in between them.
Shape of Myself
Together with your child, go through an old photo album together to and find a picture of your child. Have your child cut out himself or herself from the photo and use the space to create a shape poem. Your child may want to write a poem about when that photo was taken. Encourage your child to write with the senses and focus on a small detail. Your child may want to use a graphic organizer before he or she starts writing. Then replace the photo in the album with the shape poem.