Are you looking for an easy way to teach poetry? Try incorporating your poetry lessons into other subjects with these ten sneaky teacher tricks.
Does your child not love straight reading and writing poetry? Poetry is a topic in and of itself, however it can also be used in other aspects of learning. Here are a few ideas about how to incorporate poetry activities into all of your subjects.
1. Use Poetry to Teach Handwriting
Poetry Copywork for any Grade Level
Poetry is great for copywork and handwriting practice. Choose poetry your child enjoys – funny and whimsical, short and sweet, or dark and mysterious.
Find printable haiku worksheets a sample page>> Teaching Japanese Haiku Poems to Children + Haiku Worksheets
2. Use Poetry to Teach Reading
Children’s Phonics Poetry
Phonics poetry, while not the highest of the art, is great for practicing phonics skills. Use poetry written for phonics practice to:
- Encourage repeated readings for fluency practice
- Practice rhyme
- Work on recognizing word families
- Improve reading confidence
3. Use Poetry to Teach Music
Examine Rhythms in Poetry
Have a musician in your home? Both a six-year-old is scream-singing from the couch and a budding violinist might enjoy singing, playing, and making up tunes to the poetry they’ve read.
Using music with poetry is a great hook for resistant learners. Try looking more closely at song lyrics can be a gateway into great poetry.
4. Use Poetry to Teach Art
Create a Poem Exhibit
Start with an author, a particular subject, or a period in time. Create individual works of art – paintings, drawings, illustrations – that communicate the same feeling or tell the same story as the poem that inspired it. Create an art gallery or display in one room or hallway. Write or past the poem on the picture or display it below. Invite others to view your showing!
5. Use Poetry to Teach P.E. / Cross motor practice
This is a fun one. Create a hopscotch board and write a different word in each space. It can be as long or short as you like! Hop around and see how many poems you can create!
6. Use Poetry to Teach Math
Write a Rhyming or Rhythmic Poem to Remember a Mathematical Process
This activity is fun for both students who love and dread math time. Keep your poems light and fun, make it enjoyable, and sneakily use it as a strategy for remembering steps in a mathematical process.
7. Use Poetry to Teach History
Write a Poem about an Old Fashioned Object
This activity is inspired by Janeczko’s collection of poems in Death of a Hat.
There are so many objects that have become obsolete. Introduce your child to archaic items of the past: VHS tapes, rotary telephones, typewriters, dip pens… and use them as inspiration for your poetry.
Need a deeper connection to your history lesson? Research obsolete items from the period you’re studying: canopic jars, a suit of armor, and covered wagons also make interesting subjects!
8. Use Poetry to Teach a Foreign Language
Translate a Poem
Rewriting a poem written in English in another language or from a foreign language to English is a great way to practice your translation skills. But be warned: You may run into some stumbling blocks. Not all figurative language can be translated, and not all translations hold the same meaning.
9. Use Poetry to Teach Grammar
Be ee cummings Grammar Teacher
Children love to be right, so let your child be the teacher and whip ee cummings into shape.
Not familiar with ee cummings? He is a well known, American poet from the early 1900s that famously never used any puctuation or capitalization in his poems. So much so that to this day, many publications use “e e cummings” to print his name with no capital letters or punctuation for the abbreviations. Find out more on Wikipedia.
10. Use Poetry to Teach Science
Write an Observation Poem
Freeze a moment in time, perhaps during a scientific process, and write a poem about the singular, fleeting second. Haiku is the perfect pairing with observation of the scientific process – especially if you’re studying the natural processes that occur in nature all around us.
Find out more about how to teach haiku: Teaching Japanese Haiku Poems to Children + Haiku Worksheets
Bonus: Use subject-specific poetry as a hook into any subject
You can find poetry about almost any subject – you might be surprised at how many! Match poems to your child’s interests to create a unit study or pair it with your lesson plans.
If your kid is passionate about a subject – whether it is animals, humor, or even the human body, there’s a poem out there that they will love!
More about poetry…