Poetry is such a fun type of reading and writing. I have found that kids love learning about it and teachers love teaching it! While it can be fun, you will want your students to learn the essential components of the genre. Today, I am going to show you a few of my favorite anchor charts to make teaching poetry simple and effective.
Introduction to Poetry
Firstly, you will want to introduce poetry! Write “Poetry” across the top of an anchor chart and grab a few stacks of sticky notes. Facilitate a whole-group discussion with your students about what poetry is, what we see in poetry, etc. As students come up with answers, have them record them on a sticky note (or record them yourself). Place the sticky notes on the anchor chart and keep growing the list! This is a great way to find out what students already know about poetry. If there are important things that they don’t know yet, don’t worry! Throughout the unit, as you teach important elements, add the new information to the anchor chart.
Talk About Sensory Words
Word choice is so important in poetry. So, I like to focus on the different types of words that students can be looking for in poetry (and using in their own writing). To start, talk about sensory words! Create a simple chart with each of the 5 senses in column form. *You can write the senses or draw them. Next, create lists of words that make you use or think about each sense! I recommend starting this list as a whole group and then allowing your students to explore through poetry books or printable poems to find more words. They can record their own lists and come back to discuss as a whole.
Show Emotion with Feeling Words
Next, we discuss feeling words. Because so many poems are written to express feelings, it is important for students to understand how to read about or write about feelings within poetry. For this activity, record some standard feeling words, like happy, sad, mad, etc. Then, have students share different ways to express those feelings through writing. For example, instead of saying I’m scared, the writer may say “my hands were trembling.” Similarly, students can then be given time to explore poems and look for ways poets have expressed feelings. They can record these on sticky notes and add them to the chart!
Once you get into the structure of poetry, you will want to focus on rhythm and rhyme. Rhyming words can be practiced with an anchor chart like the one above. You can create poems or write ones that you find on a chart. Be sure they have rhyming words that allow you to leave a blank and use several different rhyming words within that blank. Students will learn how to find rhyming words that make sense and fit the poem! Students can even find poems and write their own posters, trading with a partner and completing the activity again!
Types of Poetry
Finally, you will be able to get into types of poetry! For this anchor chart, I like to laminate it and focus on 2-4 types of poems at a time. Record the type of poem and its essential elements in each box. Then, write an example of each type on a sticky note. You can continue to add examples of the poem types on sticky notes throughout the unit! Students may find a cinquain or haiku and record it on a sticky note and place it in the correct box. The stacks of sticky notes will grow and grow. *Note: Take all of the sticky notes off and have students sort them as a formative assessment!
Suggest Resources for Your Poetry Unit
If you’re looking for Poetry resources, check out the full Common Core unit for your grade level! They come with everything you need, from lesson plans to assessments. You will find graphic organizers, task cards, reading passages, and more!