How to Write a Poem: Fun Free-Verse Poetry Lesson Plan for Kids

Poetry Lesson Plan



Poetry Lesson Plans are fun!

Text: Playful Poetry Lesson Plan - Free-Verse Image of a girl and teacher writing together.

Okay, so I am no Shakespeare or Amanda Gorman, but I love writing poetry and teaching students to write poetry too! Read on to see how I teach Free-Verse Poetry Writing!

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Free-Verse Mini Lesson Plan

I always favored the Gradual Release of Responsibility Model if you have read any of my other writing mini-lesson posts. In a nutshell: I do (teacher modeling), We do (teacher and students working together), and You do (students practice independently). That is how this poetry lesson plan is structured!

(I do) Begin by explaining what a Free-Verse Poem is. Which is a type of poem that doesn’t have any poetry rules. It doesn’t have to rhyme or be in complete sentences. Explain to your students that free-verse allows them to express themselves more freely and that it can be a great way to explore their emotions and thoughts.

I like to start off my lesson with a mentor text. My favorite book of free-verse poetry is All the Small Poems and Fourteen More by Valerie Worth (affiliate link). Before I start the lesson I choose several poems that I will share with my students. I like to use my document camera, but you could also copy the poems to write on, or write a favorite on a large sheet of paper to use as an anchor chart.

(We do) Read a poem or two with the students and ask them to pay attention to what they notice about Free-Verse Poems. Some observations to point out (if students don’t):

  • They don’t have to rhyme.
  • They don’t follow a specific rule or pattern.
  • They sometimes have a lot of “white space” around them.
  • Sometimes the lines only have one word.
  • Sentences usually vary in length (if there are any complete sentences)

    Then, write a class free-verse poem. Have a student choose a topic, brainstorm a list of ideas that you could put into the poem, then you and your students will write a free-verse poem together. Make sure when you are writing it the students can see what you are doing. Think aloud during this part and make sure that you get a lot of student input!

    Text: Free-Verse Writing Template Image of free printable free-verse writing templates. One with plain lines, one with primary lines, and one with no lines.

    (You do) It’s time now for your students to try writing their own! Have them turn and talk to their partner about what they think that they will write about. If your students are having trouble coming up with ideas, doing a brainstorm and talking to another student may help. Pass out the Free-Verse Poetry Template freebie that works the best for you (Sign up for my newsletter below to get your freebie). Make sure that your students know where they are to write their poems and do their drawings. Then, let them go write.

    (We do) When writing time is over, share! You can have a few students share with the class, or you can have your students share with a partner or small group!

    You Do Ideas for Free-Verse Poetry

    Writing Free-Verse poetry was always a favorite in my classroom! Here are some other ways that your students can practice writing free-verse poetry after your poetry lesson plan:

    • Make copies of the template and add to your classroom writing center.
    • **Magnetic Poetry (affiliate link)! Add magnet poetry to your writing center! Students LOVE it and it is a great way to “write” Free-Verse! I also have a digital version of Magnet Poetry you can try!
    • Poetry Mini-Books: Have your students write and illustrate poems in mini-books in your classroom writing center (don’t have mini-books? There is a freebie in my Free Resource Library, or I have some super fun themed mini-books here:)
    • Start a “Poet -Tree”. Have a place in your room (or the hallway) where your students can display their favorite poems!

    **Don’t want to buy Magnetic Poetry? Here is a video showing how I make my own magnets for my writing center. You can find the supplies you need here (Amazon affiliate link).

    Thank you so much for stopping by! If this poetry lesson plan post helped you, please pin the image below to share, so you don’t lose this great info!

    Text: Playful Poetry Lesson Plan - Free-Verse Image of a girl and teacher writing together.

    Happy Teaching,


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