Teaching children to write poetry can be done if the steps are broken down. Children learn best when it is simple and easily accomplished. Basically all you need to do is show children how to rhyme words and then put them together. Here are 6 methods.
1. Write a list of words. On the board or at home on a piece of paper write a list of words that rhyme. An example would be: try, high, fly, kite, night, fun, run, roam, home, etc. Next, have the children arrange some of the words in a sentence.
2. Recitation. While the students are writing their sentences you can write some of your own and then read them out loud. Hearing words rhyme is different than saying them in your head. Have each of the children do this. There may be giggles which is normal.
3. The Bible. The Bible is the most widely read book in the world. It is written in prose and parts of it are quite beautiful. You can read parts of the Bible a loud and discuss why it is considered poetry. As an exercise you can have the children try to imitate some of the verses.
4. Poems about familiar things. Poetry is an expression of feelings and emotions. Help the kids by getting them to express thoughts and ideas about people and things they are very familiar with. Encourage them to be expressive.
5. Rhyming games. An effective method for teaching kids poetry is to use games. Nursery rhymes are some of the first poetry we hear. You can read some of these to the kids and have them stomp their feet and clap to the rhythmic pattern they hear. Be prepared for some noise but this is very effective.
6. Music. Listen to music and show how lyrics are similar to poetry set to music. This is particularly effective with older kids. Music is a huge part of our lives and many children and teenagers are aspiring musicians and already have favorite music groups.
Writing poetry is a fun activity and the kids will enjoy it. You need to start with simple rhyming schemes so the students can build confidence. You can use the Bible, games and music to further their understanding.