Seven simple poetry styles your students will love

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.


The Epitaph

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.


Irish Limerick

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.


The ultimate tool for teaching students poetry

The ‘Poetry Power Pack’ is the complete solution for teaching and learning poetry in an elementary / primary classroom. 

This unique bundle of poetry resources and media is housed within a single PowerPoint presentation and contains a huge amount of resources for 19 styles of poetry including... 

Acrostic, Ballads, Clerihew, Diamante, Epitaph, Free Verse, Haiku, Irish Limerick, Monody, Monorhyme, The Ode, Palindromes, Pantoum, Quatrains, Shape Poetry, Concrete Poetry, Sonnets and Villanelle.

For each style of poetry you will find.
Visually driven and informative teaching guides which appeal to students.
Annotated and narrated poetry samples by a professional voice actor.
Quality external Learning links and resources.
Individual professionally designed templates to download and print in either grayscale or color.
Poetry Assessment Rubric to guide students in writing high quality poetry.
Curriculum links including the Common Core.

*Absolutely no preparation required - This is a perfect resource for both full time and substitute teachers alike.

This resource has taken over ten years to compile and refine to the point it is now. It has been used by teachers around the world in various formats and is now available for the first time as a complete solution to teaching poetry in your classroom in an engaging and professional manner.

There is over three weeks of continuous work which can either be directed by a teacher or students can learn independently at their own pace. In most cases you would use this frequently throughout the entire school year.

The entire collection is provided to you in both the original PowerPoint format and also as a printable PDF ebook to best suit the needs of students and teachers.

This bundle goes above and beyond what you would expect of any other PowerPoint presentations and Poetry bundles currently available on Teachers Pay Teachers and will not disappoint you.

Ensure you meet Common Core Standard 10 for grades one through five. ( "by the end of the year, students should be able to read and comprehend literature including POETRY." ) though the use of this Poetry Unit. 

Access the Poetry PowerPack here

Teaching poetry with Charlotte's Web

Acrostic Poems are typically easy to write and can be used in any subject with any topics.  Acrostic Poems allow creativity and spell out messages for readers to visually and mentally understand.  This activity will promote student creative writing as well as character descriptions from the classic children’s novel Charlotte's Web.

Click here to download the entire lesson plan.

Are Songwriters Poets? Lesson Plan


Learning Intention / Overview

Poetry is a term that makes many students frown before they even give it a chance.  After introducing poetic devices and clarifying that students understand the differences, this activity can create interest in poetry that might have been lacking.  Using the accompanying handout and the lyrics to two popular songs, students are asked to reflect on the question:  “are songwriters poets”?  This increased motivation and requires students to reflect on poetic devices in a comfortable setting because they feel more opening to analysing songs than poetry.  What they may not initially realize is that song lyrics are poetry!

Essential Questions

What is poetry?

How is music similar to poetry?

How is music different to poetry?

Are songwriters poets?


Click here to download the entire four page lesson plan

Vanilla Ice:  Was he a poet and didn't know it?

teach your students how to write a diamante poem

This handout is a great tool for teaching kids how to write a Diamante Poem.  Diamante poems are a great way to teach student about Synonyms and Antonyms and have a bit of fun in the process.  This lesson plan is suitable for students from years 3 - 10 and will easily fill one literacy session. 

You can download my handout here and also learn more about Diamante Poems at Readwritethink.orgnhere.

Teaching Poetry

These are really useful presentations about teaching poetry that can be adapted to suit your needs.  Enjoy

Lesson Plan: Writing a Diamante Poem

This handout is a great tool for teaching kids how to write a Diamante Poem.  Diamante poems are a great way to teach student about Synonyms and Antonyms and have a bit of fun in the process.  This lesson plan is suitable for students from years 3 - 10 and will easily fill one literacy session. 

You can download my handout here and also learn more about Diamante Poems at here.

Learn how to teach Palindrome's with 'Weird Al'

Weird Al is clearly my most cited musician in literacy classes, particularly when looking at poetry.  Last week our kids looked at using Palindromes in their poetry and Weird Al' delivered again with his rip off of Bob Dylan's Subterranean Homesick Blues.

"Rats live on no evil Star"