Poetry Writing Prompts
Creative writing offers much opportunity for writers to stretch their minds and skills– this is especially true of the genre of poetry. We can find inspiration in the world around us, use figurative language, and employ vocabulary that is less typical of other genres of writing. Use the categories of “Poetry Basics,” “Figurative Language Practice,” “Famous Poems,” “Haikus,” “Original Poetry,” and “Silly Poems” to embrace the magic of writing. Writers are encouraged to plan and review their work. Keep in mind that some prompts may demand contextualization depending on the learner’s background and needs.
Poetry Writing Prompts
Category 1: Poetry Basics
Poetry offers writers another avenue for expressing their thoughts in a unique way. This set of writing prompts offers writers an opportunity to explore and understand the basic elements of poetry.
- Create a small poster with three facts about poems and poetry. Include helpful graphics.
- Look through your classroom library for a book on poetry. What do you like and dislike about poetry?
- Write a short poem that could go inside a greeting card for a family member.
- Write a research paper about a modern poet. Sometimes poets are asked to speak at large events– see if you can find information about a poet who has shared their poetry at a recent gathering or event.
- Using inspiration from nature during one of the four seasons, craft an original poem.
- Research different types of poems and create an infographic or presentation about each. You may wish to explore haikus, sonnets, ballads, and more.
Category 2: Figurative Language Practice
Poetry offers writers another avenue for expressing their thoughts in a unique way. Through their exploration of poems and poets, writers will likely notice that poets often employ the use of figurative language techniques. This set of writing prompts offers writers an opportunity to learn and practice implementing figurative language techniques.
- A simile is a phrase that uses “like” or “as” to make a comparison. For example, a simile is “I’m as hungry as a pig” or “I’m quick like a fox.” Write two similes of your own.
- A hyperbole is an exaggeration. This means you’re explaining something or a situation dramatically, or as more than what it actually is in reality. For example, one hyperbole is: “I’m so hungry I could eat a horse.” Write two hyperboles of your own.
- Write a short poem in which you include one simile and one hyperbole (use prompts #1 and #2 above to guide your understanding of these two terms).
- A symbol is a person, action, or object that represents something other than itself. For example, the American flag is a symbol of patriotism. Choose a symbol and write a poem that helps the reader understand its meaning.
- Personification is when you give a non-human object human-like characteristics. For example, “The car groaned up the road,” means that the car sounds annoyed or upset. Craft your own example of personification and write a poem that helps the reader understand its meaning.
- Write a short poem in which you include one symbol and one line of personification (use prompts #1 and #2 above to guide your understanding of these two terms.
Category 3: Haikus
A haiku is a Japanese poem of seventeen syllables. The seventeen syllables are spread across three lines: one line has five syllables, one line has seven syllables, and a third line has another five syllables. This set of poetry writing prompts offers writers an opportunity to learn about and practice crafting haikus. Tip: Exercise patience and creativity!
- Learn about haikus and where they come from. Create an informative poster that explains important information about haikus.
- Practice understanding syllables. Write out one or two words that use five syllables; do the same to practice seven syllables.
- Write an original haiku. Find a model or sample to help you craft an original haiku.
- Complete a research-based essay about the history of haikus; explore how haikus have an impact on Japanese culture today.
- Write a funny haiku about homework.
- Write an original haiku about nature during any season.
Category 4: Rhyming Poems
Poetry offers writers another avenue for expressing their thoughts in a unique way. Through their exploration of poems and poets, writers will likely notice that poets often employ the use of a rhyme scheme or pattern. Rhyming poems can help readers remember what they read and connect to the rhythm of certain kinds of poetry. This set of writing prompts offers writers an opportunity to learn and practice implementing rhymes.
- Create a comic strip about a character who loves to speak in rhymes.
- Draw a picture of something that rhymes with your name. If you can’t think of something that rhymes with your name, draw two objects or things that rhyme.
- Identify ten words that rhyme and then include them in a short poem.
- Choose any song that includes a rhyme pattern– evaluate and reflect on the rhyme patterns and how the writer of the song rhymes certain words together.
- Create a lawn sign that has a clever rhyme about an issue important to your community.
- Design an infographic about the different types of rhyming schemes; this may require some research. Cite example/ model poems to illustrate your understanding.
Category 5: Write Your Own Original Poetry
Poetry offers writers another avenue for expressing their thoughts; one way to inspire writers to hone this genre of writing is through practice opportunities. These prompts are also useful for emerging musical artists who aspire to write songs. This set of writing prompts offers writers an opportunity to learn and practice crafting poems based on various sources of inspiration.
- Draw a picture of your favorite thing to write about; brainstorm words that you think of when you see this thing.
- Write a short poem about a color that makes you feel happy or mad.
- Think about your favorite subject in school. Then, write a poem about why you love it.
- Write a poem for or about a pet or favorite animal.
- Design and write a poem on a postcard for a popular tourist destination
- Create a classroom lesson that helps small children understand what poetry is. How would you explain a poem? What would you want your student to know?
Category 6: Silly Poems
Let’s laugh a little! Through their exploration of poems and poets, readers of poetry will likely notice that poets often employ humor and silly themes in their poetry. This humor can make for memorable moments in the poetry we read. This set of poetry writing prompts offers writers an opportunity to learn and practice the art of implementing humor in writing.
- Write a short poem about something that makes you laugh really hard.
- Write a nonsense poem. This means that the poem might not make sense to others, but will make sense to you. It might include words that sound like words that other people know, but are somehow a bit jumbled. Be silly and creative!
- Draw a picture of a silly character and write words that help viewers understand why the character is so silly. Use as many words as you can think of.
- Design an infographic about strategies or elements that can make a poem more humorous. Provide some examples.
- Imagine you are at a comedy show and your job is to write and read an original poem called, “An Ode to My Abode.” Write the poem.
- Write a research paper about a poet who uses a lot of humor in their writing. What effect does this have on the readers?