7 Poetry Activities for At Home and Classroom Learning

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One of my favorite things about April is that it is National Poetry Month! I love celebrating poetry all year long, but especially during April when we can spend even more time writing and reading poetry. In my classroom, we love to read classic poetry and new poetry, revisit with familiar and new poets, and of course, become poets ourselves, writing different forms of poetry all month long.

digital poetry activitiesI especially love having students write poems because they are engaging for all levels of writers, including struggling writers. Writing poetry can also be therapeutic, serving as an outlet for kids to express themselves in positive ways, especially during difficult times.

Whether you are in the classroom teaching, teaching remotely through distance learning, or a parent looking for easy to implement and engaging poetry activities to help celebrate National Poetry Month this list is for you.

These activities are engaging, fun, and require little to no resources. Read more about each activity below and grab a FREE printable list of these poetry activities HERE.

Go on a Rhyming Hunt!

Anything that gets kids up and moving around, whether they are at home learning or in the classroom, is a win in my book! Begin this activity by having students travel around their environment with a plain piece of paper on a clipboard. This can be done inside or outdoors. Accompany the kids on the hunt. As you travel around, stop the kids and ask them to observe their surroundings. Have a student share a word that they observed and then allow two minutes for students to record all the rhyming words that they know for that word.

For example, if students observe a tree, they spend the next two minutes thinking of all the words that rhyme with tree. When you are done with your rhyming hunt, have the kids use the list of words to write a poem. All of the words that they recorded now act as a brainstormed list, making poetry writing even simpler!

Use Song Lyrics

What better way to engage students than with music? Most times, a song becomes a favorite or is "catchy" because of the flow of the lyrics. Have your students think about their favorite song and analyze the lyrics. Ask them these three questions to get them analyzing:

  • Do they rhyme? 
  • What is the rhyming pattern? 
  • What makes that song's lyrics flow? 

Use any nursery rhyme or familiar song to model for students how to find the rhyming pattern and then let them analyze their favorites. Take it a step further and assign students a partner and have them compare and contrast the flow and rhyming pattern of both of their favorite songs.

Lessons Made Easy with Videos And Websites

If you are looking to integrate technology into poetry writing activities, these websites offer great introductory lessons and activities for teaching kids about poetry.
7 Poetry Activities for At Home and Classroom Learning

  • BrainPop JR Visit Brainpop Jr. (these videos are appropriate for grades 1-3) and sign up for a free account to access these three videos to get your students excited about poetry writing. Simply search for Rhyming Words, Poems, and Writing with the Senses
  • BrainPop Visit Brainpop (these videos are appropriate for grades 4 and up) and sign up for a free account to access these three videos to get your students excited about poetry writing. Simply search for Poetry, Similes, and Metaphors, Maya Angelou
  • Storyline Online I can't rave about this site enough! I have used it for years with my students and they love it each year. This is a completely FREE site. Have your kids listen to a read-aloud of the book Clark the Shark which is filled with rhyming words. Go a step further and have the kids record the rhyming words that they hear in the book and then write their own poem using those words.

Who is Your Favorite Poet?

To this day, I still remember being a third grader myself and studying the poetry works of Shel Silverstein. I even had to memorize one of his poems and recite it to the class. I still have that poem memorized, it was the poem, Nobody. I loved it then and still love it today.

Poet studies truly immerse students in poetry and leave an impact on kids as readers and writers. I love teaching my students about the poets behind their favorite poems. You can assign a poet for students to research or allow them to write a biography report on any poet of their choice.

Some favorite poets to get you started are Shel Silverstein, Jack Prelutsky, Roald Dahl, and A.A. Milne.

Create a Digital Poetree Bulletin Board

7 Poetry Activities for At Home and Classroom Learning

I have a poet-tree bulletin board up all year long in my classroom. It is a spot to display our monthly poetry writing. The kids not only look forward to writing different forms of poetry each month and displaying it on the tree, but they also love to read and hear the poems of their classmates. Creating a digital bulletin board can be a little bit of work for the teacher, but it is a great way to display student poetry writing and share it with students. Grab my digital Poetree Bulletin Board activity for FREE at the bottom of this post and give it a try! The download includes all the necessary Google Classroom directions. Be sure to have Google Classroom to be able to do this activity with your students.

Acrostic Poetry with Any Item or Book

acrostic poetry activities for distance at home learningI love assigning acrostic poetry writing for my students for many reasons, but mostly because writing an acrostic poem can range from simple to challenging depending on your directions. If your students are home because of distance learning, have them try one of these two acrostic poetry activities:

  1. Have students write an acrostic poem about their favorite thing in their homes. It can be a toy, game, pet, or family members.
  2. Have students write an acrostic poem about a character in a book they are reading at home, or assign them to watch a story via Storyline Online, like Enemy Pie, and write an acrostic poem describing a character from the book.

This list of Acrostic Poem Lesson Ideas will also help you challenge students with acrostic poetry.

Write a Poem

If you are not with your students, you can still assign them a poetry writing activity. These three poetry writing activities are perfect for students to complete on their own as they require very little support.
  1. Write a Free Verse Poem: This type of poem does not follow any rules. It allows students to write their thoughts and feelings in form of natural speech. You can assign students a topic or let them choose. Without any specific pattern rules students will have a chance to just write!
  2. Pick a Color, Any Color: Color poetry is a fun form of poetry that students can write about for any topic at all. A color poem is a poem that uses one specific color to convey the mood the poet is trying to express. One type of color poem is written with the five senses about one specific color. Here is an example of a color poem that I wrote as a model for my students all about the color green:

    Green is grass kissed by the morning dew.
    Green means heavy coats away and light jackets come out to play.
    Green is children as happy as a puppy to play outside.
    Green is buzzing bees moving like racecars from flower to flower.
    Green signals warmer days are here.
    Green equals spring. 

    Encourage your students to pick an item, focus on its color, and then use their five senses to get the mood they are feeling about the color into poetic form.
  3. Write About Yourself with a Bio Poem: What better thing to have students write a poem about than themselves? Bio poems are filled with emotions and personal thoughts. They allow the poet to express themselves through writing. While this form of poetry does follow a specific pattern, the sentence starters of this form of poetry give students clear direction on how and what to write. 

I hope these poetry activities give you some direction and many ideas on how you can celebrate poetry all year long, with an even bigger focus during April. Don't let remote teaching and distance learning stop you from celebrating National Poetry Month with your students. Poetry writing at home can be fun and engaging for your students with these easy-to-implement ideas. Be sure to grab this free resource to help encourage different forms of writing at home, too!

Looking for digital resources for direct lessons on poetry? 
Click HERE.

at home and distance learning poetry ideas

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