Poetry is one of the few styles of writing which openly encourages students to let go of their emotions and share them with others.
This is not an easy thing for students to do and can the process can be made even more difficult if we expect them to write deep and meaningful styles of poetry such as ballads and free verse without developing an appreciation and understanding of poetry through fun and simple structure.
These eight styles of poetry are a great entry point for teachers and students to approach poetry with confidence yet still allow for creativity and emotion to be part of the writing process.
Each style contains a clear structure you can teach your students by following the instructions, alongside diagrams and the highly recommended audio recordings by our resident voice actor Alan Munro. Just click the audio button for each style.
These poems come from a collection of 19 styles of poetry from Innovative Teaching Ideas which include 44 pages of templates, rubrics and more for all major styles of poetry.
A Clerihew is a light hearted poem consisting of two couplets and a specific rhyming scheme of AABB.
A clerihew usually deals with a person or character within the first line.
Clerihews have frequently been used to mock famous people such as politicians and celebrities.
As a class start with a familiar character such as Harry Potter and compare efforts.
An epitaph is a brief poem inscribed on a tombstone praising a deceased person, usually with rhyming lines.
Epitaph’s are usually written in a light hearted manner but they can be serious if need be.
Epitaphs have a simple rhyming pattern of AABB
Epitaphs can be used to teach us a lesson for example why we shouldn’t eat candy too often.
A Limerick is a rhyming humorous or nonsense poem of five lines.
It has a rhyming pattern of AABBA
Lines 1, 2 & 5 should contain 7 – 10 syllables
Lines 3 & 4 should have 5 – 7 syllables
Limericks frequently start with “there once was a…”
A palindrome or shadow poem reads identical both forwards or backwards.
You must use the same words in the first half of the poem as the second half
Reverse the order for the second half
Use a well considered word in the middle line as a bridge from the first half to the second half of the poem
Shape and Concrete Poetry
Poetry takes on many forms. An artistic expression is for your poem to adopt the shape of its subject.
Shape poems are either an outline or fill the space within an outline. Poetry within a space is also known as concrete poetry.
Any style of poetry or writing can be applied.
Start with an easy shape and change your text size for best fit.
A Diamante is a seven-lined contrast poem laid out in a diamond shape. It is highly structured and simple to understand.
Line 1: Noun or subject
Line 2: Two Adjectives
Line 3: Three -ing words
Line 4: Four words about the subject
Line 5: Three -ing words
Line 6: Two adjectives
Line 7: Synonym/antonym for the subject
Monorhyme is a poem in which the end of all lines rhyme.
There are no rules as to how long or short a monorhyme should be. Stanzas are not used in monorhyme poetry.
This is a great starting point for developing rhyming skills.
Words ending in Air, Ate, it, Ing &Oh have many rhyming words.
I hope you find these styles of poetry useful with your students and remember to check out the entire collection of 19 styles of poetry here.