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Humans have made poems for thousands of years. A poem is a piece of writing where the language is especially chosen to express feelings or ideas. The words are carefully chosen for their impact, and also for their rhythm. This is why many poems are fun to perform.

Poems can be written about anything, from a hilarious incident to a tragic event.

Teach your children about poetry using our handy topic guide!

Choose a section:
Teaching Ideas | Resources | Facts | Videos | Books | Links

Teaching Ideas

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Resources

The Poetry Pack

  • This resource pack from Storytime includes information about types of poems and poetry techniques.
  • Find rhyming words easily with this handy tool from Poetry4Kids.
  • Poetryline is full of resources for teacing poetry.

P Knowledge Organiser

Members of Teaching Packs can download a comprehensive knowledge organiser to accompany this topic. It includes key information that your children can use for reference and research.

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Poetry Facts

  • The longest poem in the world is Mahabharata, an ancient Indian epic poem. It has over 1.8 million words!
  • World Poetry Day is celebrated on the 21st of March every year.
  • The oldest known written poem is the Epic of Gilgamesh, which was written in Ancient Sumer about 4 thousand years ago.
  • Although there are lots of poem structures, such as haikus and sonnets, poems don’t have to have a formal structure at all. They don’t even have to rhyme!
  • A person who writes poems is called a poet.

Videos

Write a poem in under 10 minutes

This video focuses on quickly generating sensory descriptive language, and takes young writers through a series of simple prompts to turn their favourite word into a “character poem”.

Running time: 6:56

How to Rhyme

This short video is a lesson for students on how to write rhyming poems.

Running time: 8:42

Hot Food

A poem performed by Michael Rosen.

Running time: 1:02

CBBC Stars perform poems!

Watch some well known CBBC stars from your favourite shows perform poems to celebrate National Poetry Day.

Running time: 2:46

Football Mad

A poem performed by Benjamin Zephaniah.

Running time: 1:07

Books

Fantastic First Poems

A great first poetry book; the poems span time, from Robert Louis Stevenson and Walter de la Mare right up to date with Roger McGough and Michael Rosen. Themes covered, such as mealtimes, playtime, animals, family and bedtime, really appeal to youngreaders.

100 Best Poems for Children

A wonderful collection of contemporary and classic poems chosen by children from schools around the UK.

Poems to Perform

In Poems to Perform, Julia Donaldson has chosen poems with performance by children in mind, and her notes and ideas on performing them are included in a special section at the end of the book.c

The Lost Words

With acrostic spell-poems by award-winning writer Robert Macfarlane and hand-painted illustration by Jackie Morris, this enchanting book captures the irreplaceable magic of language and nature for all ages.

How To Write Poems

How to Write Poems is packed with exciting activities to get your pen flowing! Make poems out of leaves, carve out a mud poem, go on an outdoors simile hunt, and play poetry games in the playground.

Write Your Own Haiku

In this fun Japanese children’s book, kids will learn to create haiku – elegant and simplistic Japanese poems.

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