Poetry is a way to introduce a different style of writing as well as a chance to explore rhyming, phonetics and verse structure.
The study of poetry at this age also allows your students to express creativity as they figure out how to fit their ideas to a particular style of poetry.
Combined with an illustration these poetry-centric project ideas are all great for creating a memorable classbook.
2nd Grade Writing: An Introduction to Poetry
The study of poetry doesn’t have to be extremely complex, so even the youngest learners can master this subject.
Introduce your students to four of the most relatable and simple poem structures, which include acrostic, autobiographical, rhyming (or limericks) and haiku.
In an acrostic poem, a word or a person’s name is written vertically, and each letter begins a line of the poem. The easiest way to introduce this type of poetry to your students is to just show your students what an acrostic poem looks like. Make sure you use a word that is familiar to them as an example.
Another approach might be to take a word, such as the season you’re in when you do the lesson: F-A-L-L or S-P-R-I-N-G, and then put together an example of an acrostic poem based on the season’s characteristics.
All About Me
Autobiographical poetry, also sometimes called bio poems, is a chance for your students to write about what they know — themselves!
While autobiographical poems don’t normally rhyme, they do follow a similar pattern or style. The format of a bio poem helps your students see the structure and understand what elements they will need to fill in about themselves when they write their poem.
Present a bio poem about yourself—your students will get a kick out of learning more about you and it’s a great example for them!
Limericks will likely bring about some giggles in your classroom. Your students will enjoy this silly style of poetry, with an interesting rhyming structure.
Limericks are five-line poems where the first, second and fifth lines rhyme and then the third and fourth rhyme with each other.
You’ll need several good examples to demonstrate how limericks often begin with either the phrase, “There once was a … named …” or “I once met a … from …” and often talk about something funny that happened or a silly thing that the animal/person/imaginary thing did.
There is a fun series of books called “There was an Old Lady Who Swallowed..,” which starts with the traditional “fly” rhyme that you may have heard, but then there are variations for holidays and other fun topics that might be a silly way to demonstrate how limericks work.
A Bouquet of Haikus
An excellent opportunity to work on understanding how to listen for syllables is haiku poetry. Haiku poetry follows a strict structure of three lines: the first line has five syllables, the second has seven and the third has five.
The haiku, which started in Japan, does not rhyme, so your students don’t need to worry about that when picking the words/syllables in their short poems.
If you’re working with your students to remember the syllable structure of 5-7-5, follow this link to see another teacher’s clever visual.
If you’re in search of additional ideas to help your students with their writing skills, then take a look at our teacher’s lounge, where you’ll find helpful ideas and more.
While you’re there, make sure you sign up to receive your free classbook publishing kit. After seeing how excited your students are after receiving their books, you just might decide to make it an annual project for every class!