In Part 1 of “Poetry in Balance”, I focused on the importance of teaching students poetry appreciation.  But to have a good study of poetry, just as with the study of any art form, you must balance it out with creation.  This month I am requiring my students to write one poem each day in their reflection journals so that they can really work through what it takes to write poetry.

Poetry seems to be yet another art form that tends to be intimidating.  Often people think they have to be some magnificent, lyrical genius to produce good poetry, but what you really need is heart and a desire to be a little creative.  Over the years, I have come to understand that poetry is more than just rhythm and rhyme.  And to help my students realize that as well, I introduce them to a lot of different types of poems.

Here are a few:

Dada Poetry

This is one of my favorite types of poetry to introduce to my students and to adults who attend my workshops and courses.  DADA poetry was first written by artists and poets in Paris, France. They clipped words from newspapers, scrambled them and then arranged them in lines to form nonsense poems.

I use this idea with science vocabulary where you take the vocab words from a unit of study, throw in a few extra words from reading or some random story, mix them up, pull some out and start arranging.  Here is one example:

~water meanders~

flow with land

Elegant and Daring!

In celebration of Jazz and Poetry, try one of my favorite activities: Jazzy Dada which combines great jazz standards with this fun form of poetry.  Visit the post for the complete activity and reproducibles.

Found Poetry

Found poetry is a fun way to look at the world around us.  Essentially, you can find poetry anywhere!  As an example in my classroom, I took our math resource text and flipped through until I found some poetry.  I found poetry in the table of contents where it described the chapter and the topics in the chapter.

Essays on mathematical topics,

such as,

whole numbers,

decimals, percents,

fractions, data analysis,

geometry, measurement

and problem solving

A collection

Here is an organization to follow on Twitter to keep up with some fun things revolving around found poetry: Found Poetry Review.  They are “A literary journal celebrating the poetry in the existing and the everyday.”  There website is: Each day this month, they are posting a found poem.  You can read all the poems here at Crabapple-Moon.  It is really amazing to see what poems we really do have all around us!


The idea of finding a poem in a tweet is something I’ve found from time to time as I read tweets from my PLN.   I am not the first person to think of this or coin this phrase, in fact @twitpoem is a Twitter handle and a hashtag.  Poems that can be tweeted are yet another way to think of poetry.  Twitter, in its confinement of 140 characters, can be an interesting vehicle for poetry creation.  Here’s one I read just the other day:

[blackbirdpie url=”!/brophycat/status/56661714044846081″]

I am trying my own hand now at Twitpoems, creating one a day.  I can see this as yet another great way to challenge students to create interesting and thoughtful poems.

Blackout Poetry

This type of poetry was introduced to me last week while chatting online.

[blackbirdpie url=”!/BrdCmpbll/status/55790737450745856″]

I haven’t tried this type yet with my students, but I plan to… I’ll let you know how it goes.  I can see it as being a great way to encourage some thoughtfulness and purposefulness to your work.  You could also tweak this idea a little to tie in summarizing.


Before our poem writing time each day I try to model my poetry creation to the students.  Each time I will try a new form of writing poetry or stick with a favorite.  I do this on the overhead to help students see the process.  I often find that what ever form I use that day, often students will try that too.  Modeling is an interesting teaching practice.  Although you don’t want students to copy what you do (you do want them to find their own voice) following your model is part of their learning process.  I have to remind myself of that sometimes.  I have forced myself to model poetry writing this year in the hopes that students will learn from me, copy me and eventually work on their own.  (This is what teaching is about, after all!)

I have done and will continue to encourage my students to create limericks and couplets, parts of speech poetry and haikus.  But it is so important to introduce and challenge them to some different types of poetry as well.  Have fun with poetry! – that is the message I want to send!


What other types of poems do you share with your students to help them create?