How to Create a Poetry Lesson for Year Six

Written by Dan

Creating a poetry lesson for Year Six can be a daunting task, but with the right approach, it can be a rewarding experience for both the teacher and the students. Poetry is a powerful tool for developing literacy skills and encouraging creativity, and it can be a fun and engaging way to explore language and expression.

Understanding poetry is the first step in creating a successful lesson plan. Teachers need to grasp the different forms and techniques used in poetry, such as rhyme, rhythm, and imagery.

They should also be familiar with poetry’s different styles and themes, from traditional sonnets and ballads to contemporary free verse and spoken word.

Creating a lesson plan for poetry requires careful planning and preparation. Teachers need to consider the learning objectives, the needs and abilities of their students, and the resources available to them.

They should also think about how they can make the lesson interactive and engaging, using a range of activities and exercises to help students develop their skills and confidence in writing and analysing poetry.

Key Takeaways

  • Understanding poetry’s different forms and techniques is crucial in creating a successful lesson plan.
  • Teachers need to carefully plan and prepare their lessons, considering their students’ learning objectives and needs.
  • Using a range of activities and exercises can help students develop their skills and confidence in writing and analysing poetry.

Understanding Poetry

When teaching poetry to Year Six students, starting with a clear understanding of what poetry is is important.

Poetry is a form of literature that uses language to evoke emotions, paint vivid images, and convey complex ideas concisely and creatively. It often employs literary devices such as rhyme, rhythm, and metaphor to achieve its effects.

One of the vital elements of poetry is its use of language. Unlike prose, which is more straightforward and functional, poetry uses language more artistically and imaginatively. It often plays with words, using puns, allusions, and other literary devices to create meaning and impact.

Another essential aspect of poetry is its use of imagery. Poets use words to create pictures in the reader’s mind, using vivid descriptions and sensory details to bring their ideas to life. Using imagery, poets can evoke emotions and connect with their readers.

Overall, understanding poetry requires a willingness to engage with language creatively and imaginatively. Year Six students can develop a deeper appreciation for this unique and powerful form of literature by exploring the various elements of poetry.

Creating a Lesson Plan

To create a successful poetry lesson for Year Six, it is important to have a well-planned lesson plan. The lesson plan should include the learning objectives, the activities, and the assessment methods.

Learning Objectives

The learning objectives should be specific and measurable. They should focus on the skills and knowledge that the students will gain from the lesson. For example, the learning objectives could be to identify different types of poetry, analyse a poem’s structure and language, and create their own poem.


The activities should be engaging and interactive. They should provide opportunities for students to work collaboratively and independently. Some activities that could be included in the lesson plan are:

  • Reading and analyzing different types of poetry
  • Discussing the structure and language of a poem
  • Writing a group poem
  • Creating their poem


To create a successful poetry lesson plan, it is crucial to do some research. This could include researching different types of poetry, analyzing the structure and language of poems, and finding examples of successful poetry lessons.


It is essential to seek advice from other teachers and professionals when creating a poetry lesson plan. This could include attending professional development workshops, consulting with other teachers, and seeking advice from experts in the field.

By following these guidelines, teachers can create a successful poetry lesson plan that engages and challenges Year Six students while also helping them develop their poetry skills and knowledge.

Exploring Rhyme and Onomatopoeia

Rhyme and onomatopoeia are two important elements of poetry that can add depth and interest to a poem. This section will explore how to teach these concepts to Year Six students.


Rhyme is the repetition of sounds at the end of words. There are many different types of rhyme, including:

  • End rhyme: rhyming words at the end of lines
  • Internal rhyme: rhyming words within a line
  • Slant rhyme: words that almost rhyme, but not quite

To teach rhyme, start by reading a poem that uses rhyme. Point out the rhyming words and ask students to identify the pattern. Then, have students write their own poems using end rhyme, internal rhyme, or slant rhyme.


Onomatopoeia is the use of words that imitate sounds. Examples of onomatopoeic words include “buzz,” “crackle,” and “hiss.” Onomatopoeia can add texture and sensory detail to a poem.

To teach onomatopoeia, start by reading a poem that uses onomatopoeia. Ask students to identify the onomatopoeic words and discuss how they contribute to the poem. Then, have students write their own poems using onomatopoeia to describe a sound or action.


It’s important to discuss the language used in poetry when teaching poetry. Poetry often uses figurative language, such as metaphors and similes, to create vivid images and convey meaning.

Please encourage students to use descriptive language in their poems. Ask them to think about how they can use words to create sensory images and convey emotions.

Exploring rhyme and onomatopoeia can help Year Six students develop their poetry writing skills. By teaching these concepts and encouraging the use of descriptive language, students can create engaging and meaningful poems.

Writing and Editing Poetry

When it comes to writing and editing poetry, it is essential to encourage Year Six students to express themselves creatively while also paying attention to the technical aspects of poetry. This section will provide some tips and techniques for helping students write and edit their own poems.

Firstly, it is essential to encourage students to brainstorm and experiment with different poetic forms and styles. This could include free verse, haikus, sonnets, and more. Students can discover what works best for them and their writing styles by exploring different forms.

Once students have written a draft of their poem, it is important to focus on editing and refining their work. This could include looking at the poem’s structure, the use of language, and the spelling and grammar. Please encourage students to read their poems aloud to identify any awkward phrasing or areas that need improvement.

In terms of language, students should be encouraged to use descriptive and vivid language that engages the reader’s senses. This could include using metaphors, similes, and other literary devices to create a more robust and memorable poem.

When it comes to spelling and grammar, it is important to remind students that poetry does not have to follow strict grammar and spelling rules.

However, it is essential to ensure that the poem is still understandable and that any deviations from standard grammar and spelling are intentional and add to the poem’s overall effect.

Overall, writing and editing poetry is a process that requires both creativity and attention to detail. By encouraging Year Six students to experiment with different forms and styles while also paying attention to language, spelling, and grammar, they can create expressive and technically sound poems.

Using Creative Commons Resources

Finding and Downloading Resources

Year Six poetry lessons can be made more engaging and interactive by incorporating Creative Commons resources.

Creative Commons is a non-profit organization that provides free licenses for creators to share their work with others. These resources can be found on various platforms, including Flickr, YouTube, and SoundCloud.

Teachers can use the Creative Commons search engine to find Creative Commons resources for poetry lessons or browse through websites that offer Creative Commons content, such as Open Culture and Project Gutenberg. Once a suitable resource has been found, it can be downloaded and used in the lesson.

ShareAlike and Copyright

When using Creative Commons resources, it is essential to understand the different types of licenses available.

The ShareAlike license requires that any derivative work created from the original resource be shared under the same license. Any work created using a ShareAlike resource must also be licensed under Creative Commons.

On the other hand, some Creative Commons licenses do not require derivative works to be shared under the same license. However, it is still essential to check the resource’s license to ensure that it can be used in the intended way.

It is also important to note that Creative Commons resources still have copyright protection. While they can be used for educational purposes, they should not be used for commercial purposes without permission from the creator.

By using Creative Commons resources in Year Six poetry lessons, teachers can provide students with a variety of engaging and interactive materials while also respecting the rights of creators.

Incorporating Visual Elements

Incorporating visual elements is an effective way to enhance poetry lessons for Year Six students. Using images or videos can help students better understand the emotions and themes expressed in poems. It can also help to engage visual learners who may struggle with traditional teaching methods.

One way to incorporate visual elements is to use images relating to the studied poem. For example, if the poem describes a sunset, teachers can show a picture of a sunset to help students visualize the scene and understand the emotions being conveyed.

Similarly, if the poem is about a historical event, teachers can show images or videos related to that event to help students understand the poem’s context.

Another effective method is to use visual aids to help students analyze the poem. Teachers can create tables or charts to help students identify literary devices such as metaphors, similes, and personification.

This can help students better understand how these devices are used in the poem and how they contribute to its overall meaning.

Incorporating visual elements into poetry lessons can also help to make the lessons more interactive and engaging. Teachers can encourage students to create their visual interpretations of the poem, such as drawings or collages.

This can help students develop their creativity and critical thinking skills while deepening their understanding of the poem.

Overall, incorporating visual elements into poetry lessons for Year Six students can be a highly effective teaching strategy. It can help to engage students, deepen their understanding of the poem, and enhance their critical thinking and creativity skills.

Support and Further Learning

To ensure that Year Six students get the most out of their poetry lesson, teachers should provide support and further learning opportunities. Here are some ways to achieve this:


Teachers can provide support by:

  • Breaking down complex ideas into smaller, more manageable parts.
  • Providing students with examples of different types of poetry and explaining the techniques used.
  • Encouraging students to work in pairs or small groups to discuss their ideas and share their work.
  • Offering one-on-one support to students who may be struggling.

Further Learning

To help students deepen their understanding of poetry, teachers can offer further learning opportunities such as:

  • Encouraging students to read poetry outside of class and share their favourite poems with the class.
  • Setting homework tasks that involve writing their poems or analysing existing poems.
  • Organising a poetry workshop or inviting a poet to speak to the class.
  • Providing access to online resources such as poetry websites or videos of poets reading their work.

Teachers can help Year Six students develop their skills and confidence in poetry by providing support and further learning opportunities.

Review and Reflection

After completing the poetry lesson, Year Six students need to review and reflect on their work. This allows them to consolidate their learning and identify areas for improvement.

One way to do this is to have students share their poems with the class. This can be done through a poetry reading or by displaying their work on a bulletin board.

Please encourage students to provide feedback to their peers, focusing on what they liked about the poem and areas where the poet could improve.

Another way to review and reflect is to have students edit and revise their own work. Please provide them with a checklist of things to look for, such as spelling and grammar errors, repetition, and clarity of ideas.

Please encourage them to read their poems out loud to themselves or a partner to hear how it sounds.

It is also essential for students to reflect on their own learning. Ask them to write a short reflection on what they have learned about poetry, what they enjoyed about the lesson, and what they found challenging. This can be done in a journal or as a class discussion.

Reviewing and reflecting on their work allows Year Six students to develop their writing skills and become more confident in their abilities. It also helps them to understand the importance of editing and revising their work to create a polished final product.

Additional Activities and Resources

In addition to the main poetry lesson, some several other activities and resources can enhance the learning experience for Year Six students.

Poetry Slam

Organizing a poetry slam is a fun and engaging way to get students excited about poetry. Divide the class into teams and have them perform their own original poems in front of their peers.

Encourage creativity and provide constructive feedback to help students improve their writing and performance skills.

Poetry Walk

Take the class on a poetry walk around the school or local area. Encourage students to observe their surroundings and find inspiration for their own poems.

Please provide them with notebooks and pencils to jot down their ideas as they walk. Once back in the classroom, have students share their poems with the class.

Online Resources

Many online resources are available to help teachers create engaging poetry lessons for Year Six students. The Poetry Society offers a range of lesson plans, activities, and resources for teachers and a database of poems and poets for students to explore.

The National Poetry Day website also provides a wealth of resources, including lesson plans, activity ideas, and poetry prompts.

Poetry Anthologies

Introduce students to a range of poetry styles and authors by using poetry anthologies. These collections can spark discussion and inspire students to write their own poems. Some recommended anthologies for Year Six students include “A First Poetry Book” by Pie Corbett and “The Works 3: A Collection of Poetry and Prose” edited by Paul Cookson.

Poetry Competitions

Encourage students to enter poetry competitions to showcase their writing skills and gain recognition for their work. The Young Writers website offers a range of poetry competitions for primary school students, including the “Poetry Escape” and “My First Acrostic” competitions.

By incorporating these additional activities and resources into a poetry lesson for Year Six, teachers can create a more engaging and enriching learning experience for their students.

About The Author

I'm Dan Higgins, one of the faces behind The Teaching Couple. With 15 years in the education sector and a decade as a teacher, I've witnessed the highs and lows of school life. Over the years, my passion for supporting fellow teachers and making school more bearable has grown. The Teaching Couple is my platform to share strategies, tips, and insights from my journey. Together, we can shape a better school experience for all.






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