Teaching Kids How to Write Poetry – Fun Lesson Plan

To kick of our HomeSchool never Stops on Saturday meme, I knew if I just search my documents I’d have plenty of articles to pick from to post up quickly. Anyways, I found this entire lesson plan about Teaching Kids How to Write Poetry when we entered last year’s poetry contest, since this was dated February 2010!<=This is just one more example how I have more content that I have time to even post. So, I’m curious, it’s 4:28pm right now, if I copy & paste, what time will I hit “publish”? [5:11pm]Kids Writing Poems

Kids Learning Poetry

Haiku

Japanese, un-rhymed, short 3-lined 17-syllables poem with line-pattern of 5-7-5, usually about nature (plants & animals)

1st = 5
2nd = 7
3rd = 5

Most of this Project was Guided by Grade 4 Time4Learning (A program we’ve been using for years (2008). They have a 14-day free trial. Of course, if you decide to use it please don’t forget to say “Ponn Sabra” referred you. Thanks!). But, I supplemented it of course.

Haiku project, fill in the blanks:

Wild raindrops ___ ___
Making muddy ___ ___ ___
Drying __ __ ___.

We came up with:
Wild raindrops falling
Making muddy puddles form
Drying in the sun.

For the “Praised One” Poem

Describing a typical day of the Prophet, by sirah of what we know, our 6 year old came up with her first haiku:

5-Olives, watermelon,
7-Meats, Dates, Honey, Milk and Bread
5-Foods the Prophet Loved.

Her submission, “Eating foods the Prophet Loves”

Jennah together
Eating foods the Prophet loves
Milk, Bread and Honey

- 6 year old Sabra

Tanka

Japanese, unrhymed, 5-lined 31-syllable poem with line-pattern of 5-7-5-7-7 about any topic

5- I went to Japan (done)
7- I had a lot of fun there
5- Seeing all the sites
7- It was hot and beautiful
7- Can’t wait to go again soon!

After discussing this year’s theme, of a “Day with the Prophet (sallahi wa layhi wa salam-)” we shared that

  1. We can not go back in time,
  2. The Prophet (s) will never return to Earth for us to spend the day with him
  3. The only DAY we can possibly spend with the Prophet, inshaAllah, will only be in jennah.

So, on the spot our 9 year old came up with this tanka for the contest

“In Jennah with the Prophet – A Tanka Poem”

5- When I’m in jennah
7- Insha’Allah the Prophet
5- Will be there waiting
7- For me and my family
7- To see Allah together

- 9 year old Sabra

Acrostic poem

- Uses a person’s name with the first letter in each line.

I wrote this last year, as a sample when I was teaching our class for the previous year’s “Praised One” poetry contest:

MUHAMMAD salallahu alaihi wa salam

Muhammad, salallahu alaihi wa salam, is the most beloved, and our last and final Prophet,

Unique was His life, as He was the most perfect of all humans in His manners, words & leadership,

Humble in His actions as a Prophet, unlike any human before Him or any human to follow,

Admiration consumes me, and aspiration fills my being whenever I read, hear, learn or remember Him,

Many a night, I seek peace and blessings upon Muhammad, salallahu alaihi wa salam, and his family; as Allah, Subhana wa ta ala, gave to Prophet Ibrahim, alayhi waslam, and his family,

May I always strive to achieve a fraction of the Rasul’s good deeds for He taught me that actions should follow my intentions.

Acquiring the knowledge and acting according to the Qur’an and Sunnah (His Life) despite any hardship or obstacle I face should be easy; because I will never encounter what he has in His life — May Allah forgive me when I have doubts or complain; but I am…

Destined, only by Allah’s blessing, to live as You — a true believer.  So, it’s my duty to always seek Allah’s pleasure and forgiveness for I pray that my life allows me to reach Jenna (heaven) so I can meet You and Our Creator. ~ Ameen

- Mama Sabra

Ponn = Mama Sabra & the Girls Playing

Playing
On a swingset
Never stopping, soaring high
Night time has arrived…oh no, time to say ‘Bye-Bye’!

A special place poem

Line 1 my special place
Line 2 what I see there
Line 3 what I smell there
Line 4 what I hear there
Line 5 what I touch there
Line 6 how I feel there

Having never seen this kind poem, they shared us this poem by Edna St. Vincent Millay called “Afternoon on a Hill.

Tips to my girls: Just answer the questions, don’t think hard, let the visions flow and write what you feel. You, too, should be able to write quickly and effortlessly.

I quickly typed up ‘My Special Place’, while I had them answer the questions alongside me, silently on their own paper and netbooks.

By the creek under the tree
A weeping willow shades me
Wild flowers not too strong, the scent always pleasing
The water lightly ripples a peaceful tune
The soft grass below my legs warm me
I’m grateful for all Allah’s blessings, subhanallah, He’s perfect and majestic.
-Mama Sabra

Our 6 year old came up with this:

Outside in the snow
Igloos and snowballs
Fresh air smells like nothing [close your eyes, picture yourself outside, what do you smell?]
I hear birds even in the Winter
[What do you touch?] I make snowballs to throw at someone, but no one is here…
Now, I’m happy, because my sister arrived and I have someone to throw the snowball too! [I had to finish up her throughts myself] ;-)

Classic sidenote: Today, February 5, 2011 (not Feb. 2011), if you haven’t been keeping up, my girls and I are going on Phase 5 of our 6-foot tall igloo. Phase 1, our middle daughter fit in, Phase 2 our youngest joined in, Phase 3 our eldest fit in comfortably, Phase 4 I can sit straight up. Phase 5, 6…will be to get 5’5″ Papa/Daddy in and end with 6’2″ Hubby/Baba, inshaAllah (God willing).

Autobiographical poem

Give facts about the poet written by him/herself.

Autobiographical Poetry Prompts

  1. Think of four adjectives to describe yourself.
  2. Think of three adverbs that describe the way you act sometimes.
  3. Think of three people, places, or things that you love. Remember that a person, place, or thing is a noun.

Brainstorming:

Together, my 6 year old and I came up with:

  1. Happy, Funny, Good sense of humor & tiny
  2. Silly, fearless, dress stylish, writes neatly
  3. Baba & Mama I love, I love home, I love rabbits and horses

We couldn’t finish the autobiographical poem and moved on to Couplets & Limericks and combined to two to come up with:

Couplet

Fun, simple 2-line poem that rhymes and is often funny.

Fun examples were found here. And, once we read what a Limerick was, we decided to join forces…

Limerick

Funny little poem with 5 lines and rhyming pattern AABBA

- This was more difficult to do, we (my 9 & 6 yo and I) came up with it all together.

A- Horses and rabbits are some of my favorite things,

A- My baba is so funny and I love him–he’s my king,

B- I’m tiny like my mama,

B- And, fearless like Baba,

A- Nasheeds make me happy–they’re the only songs I sing.

We’re trying to write a limerick- to end with ‘ring’

When I’m silly, happy and making jokes, nasheeds I love to sing!…

Back to the Poetry Contest Theme…

Since we (and no single person) will never spend a day with the Prophet, inshaAllah, except in Jennah, we believed that envisioning a made-up past is useless, and not acceptable. So, we spent some good quality time as a family studying directly from the Qur’an & Sunnah.

Sonnet

- 14 line poem with 3 quatrains (4-rhyming lines) and ends with 1 couplet (2-rhyming lines). rhyming scheme/pattern:
ABAB
CDCD
EFEF
GG

Beautiful and a bit too hard to make up on the spot, we found more examples to help us here.

Simple Rhyming Poems

Rhythms and rhymes commonly and easily written by kids, that basically has the last rhyming syllable–a title we totally made up, because we know they exists. ;-)
Last, a simple rhyhming poem by our 8 year old,

“A Day in Jennah with the Prophet”

I would “As-salamu alaykum” to the Prophet.
He would reply “Wa-alaykum as-salam” and then, we’d knit.
We would read Qur’an together as we sit.
We’ll also enjoy playing with my Science kits.
Then, we’d eat a vanilla banana split.

The most adorable thing about ending this Poetry lesson was our 8 year old would totally do all these things, inshaAllah. Sitting in this living room right now, her knitting set is sitting right next to her, we haven’t used all our Science kits which are in the corner of this room, we are/were reading the Qu’ran sitting on the dining room floor, and well–what kid doesn’t love vanilla banana splits!?

So, there you have it, our Lesson Plan as we creatively had an Islamic and Literacy lesson to effortlessly, painlessly, and rather quickly teach Kids to Write Poems.

Have some Kids Poetry Lessons or Tips to share!? Please comment below! Better yet, post it on your blog–or anything related to Homeschooling, and grab our HomeSchool never Stops on Saturday button & link to this post!

Creative Commons License photo credit: qwrrty

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Comments

  1. Gerhard says

    I was looking for exactly this for my grandchildren, thank you! A Christian grandfather can learn a LOT from a Muslim Mom (and did).

    • says

      Aww, that’s sweet, thanks Christian grandpa; my girls’ papa (my daddy) is Buddhist and they learn SO much from him–he’s the 3rd best person in their word after hubby and I.
      So, how did your grandchildren make out? Would love to see their samples.

  2. says

    Excellent blog! Do you have any hints for aspiring writers? I’m hoping to start my own website soon but I’m a little lost on everything. Would you suggest starting with a free platform like WordPress or go for a paid option? There are so many choices out there that I’m totally confused .. Any suggestions? Kudos!

  3. says

    The simple instructions of how to teach different poems is perfect. Thank you. My homeschool children are participating in a poetry festival this month and this is just want we needed.

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