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!
- Write some star poems using our resources.
- These questions to use when reading poetry will help your children think more deeply about the poems they read.
- Use this simple poem structure to get your children writing.
- Read Roger McGough’s poem The Sound Collector and try out some of these fantastic ideas.
- Write your own opposites poem.
- Have fun writing your own limericks.
- Create some blackout poetry.
- Present your children’s finished poetry using this lovely idea!
Poetry 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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- 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.
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
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
A poem performed by Benjamin Zephaniah.
Running time: 1:07
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.
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
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 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.
Are you teaching your children about other topics? Explore our full collection of guides!