How To Teach Poetry In Year Five

Written by Dan

Teaching poetry to Year Five students can be a delightful experience for both educators and pupils alike.

As students begin to explore the world of poetry, they will undoubtedly develop a deeper understanding of language, gain the ability to express themselves creatively, and, most importantly, enjoy engaging with this art form.

By implementing effective teaching techniques and creating a poetry-friendly classroom environment, educators can foster a love for poetry that can last a lifetime.

Emphasizing understanding poetry is essential in Year Five. Students should be encouraged to delve into the meaning behind poems, analyse the use of language and literary devices, and appreciate the emotions and messages they convey.

By doing so, they not only enhance their comprehension and critical thinking skills but also become more empathetic readers and listeners, ready to appreciate a variety of styles and themes.

Incorporating various teaching techniques, such as reading and listening to poems, discussing their meanings and styles, and encouraging students to write their own poetry, will cultivate a well-rounded poetry education.

Encouraging a cooperative learning environment where students share their thoughts and feelings, offer feedback to one another and celebrate their own poetic achievements, can instill a sense of pride and passion for poetry.

Key Takeaways

  • Foster a love for poetry by exploring language and creative expression
  • Encourage understanding and empathy through analysing poems and their themes
  • Use a variety of teaching techniques to nurture a well-rounded poetry education

Understanding Poetry

Teaching poetry to Year Five students requires a focus on understanding both the language and the various forms and styles. This section offers some guidance for introducing these concepts to your students in a clear and engaging manner.

Deciphering the Language

When discussing poetry with your students, it is essential to start by breaking down the language of the poems.

Encouraging students to identify and explore figurative language elements such as metaphors and similes can help them better understand the meaning and imagery behind the words. In this process:

  1. Create a vocabulary list related to poetry and figurative language, including terms such as metaphor, simile, and imagery.
  2. Arrange students in small groups to analyse a selected poem together.
  3. In each group, have students identify and explain any metaphors, similes, or examples of figurative language they find in the poem.

For a more comprehensive experience, incorporate a range of poems that demonstrate various language features, allowing students to explore different techniques and strengthen their understanding of poetic language.

Identifying Forms and Styles

Another aspect of teaching poetry effectively involves introducing various forms and styles commonly found in poetry. Three key elements to consider are:

  • Form: Introduce and discuss forms such as sonnets, haikus, and limericks.
  • Style: Examine the use of rhyme, rhythm, and repetition in poetry.
  • Free Verse: Make sure to discuss free verse poems, which do not adhere to a specific structure or rhyme scheme.

To begin, provide students with examples of each form and style, then engage in a classroom discussion about the differences and similarities between these various categories.

Lastly, encourage students to experiment with creating their own poems in different styles and forms.

This hands-on experience will further their understanding and appreciation for poetry and allow them to develop their own unique voice in creative writing.

Teaching Techniques

Incorporating Poetry into Lessons

Introducing poetry in Year Five classrooms can effectively engage students and enhance their writing skills.

To make this process smooth and enjoyable, teachers can utilise various teaching techniques to help students create and share their poems while receiving feedback and support.

Lesson Plan and Teaching Resources: Create a structured lesson plan that incorporates engaging activities, discussions, and hands-on projects.

Use teaching resources like Trevor Millum’s Developing Poetic Literacy to support and inspire students, providing them with examples of various poetic forms and styles. In addition, consider collaborating with a poet-in-residence to offer tailored guidance and mentorship to your students.

Poetry Creation: Encourage students to experiment with different aspects of poetry, such as rhyme, rhythm, and figurative language. Provide them with a variety of poetic forms, including:

  1. Acrostic
  2. Haiku
  3. Limerick
  4. Free verse
  5. Sonnet

This exposure allows students to discover their preferences and empowers them to create their own unique poems.

Sharing and Feedback: Organise poetry sharing sessions where students read their poems aloud to the class or work in small groups to exchange ideas and receive constructive feedback.

Teachers can use the following table to evaluate students’ poems and offer guidance:

ContentDoes the poem express a clear idea, message, or emotion?
StructureAre there consistent patterns in rhyme, rhythm, or layout?
LanguageIs the language used effectively, including figurative devices?
CreativityDoes the poem show originality and personal expression?

Celebrating Success: Acknowledge and celebrate students’ achievements by displaying their poems, showcasing their work via newsletters or classroom posters, and engaging in school-wide or community events like poetry readings or competitions.

With a well-rounded approach to teaching, Year Five students can successfully learn about poetry and develop their creative writing abilities.

Through incorporating poetry into lessons, teachers can foster a supportive and enriching environment for young wordsmiths to thrive.

Creating a Poetry-friendly Classroom

The Role of Reading

To create a poetry-friendly classroom when teaching Year Five students, it’s important to include a variety of engaging and age-appropriate poetry resources.

Teachers should consider incorporating anthologies that encompass a range of poetic styles, authors, and themes. Additionally, ensure that the classroom library is stocked with poetry books and utilise visually appealing displays to highlight poetry.

Encourage students to explore different types of poems by:

  • Reading aloud in class
  • Setting aside dedicated time for independent reading of poetry
  • Discussing poems and their meanings as a group
  • Organising poetry circles or book clubs

Introducing various forms of poetry in the classroom enables students to build familiarity with the genre and develop a strong foundation for their own poetry writing.

The Power of Sharing

Sharing poetry is essential to fostering a supportive and creative atmosphere in the Year Five classroom.

By encouraging students to share their favourite poems and their own compositions, teachers can create a positive environment for learning and growth. It is important to implement different sharing formats, such as:

  1. Whole-class sharing: Allocate time for students to read their poems to the entire class.
  2. Small-group sharing: Divide the students into groups, allowing them to discuss their poems and provide feedback.
  3. Pair sharing: Have students share their work with a partner for a more intimate and focused discussion.

By incorporating both structured and informal sharing opportunities, students will feel more comfortable and confident in their poetry writing skills.

Furthermore, sharing their own work makes it easier for individuals to support their peers and appreciate the unique perspectives that each student brings to the classroom.

Overall, creating a poetry-friendly classroom in Year Five ensures a positive and enriching learning experience for teaching and exploring the world of poetry.

Celebrating National Poetry Year

National Poetry Day is a fantastic opportunity to engage Year Five students in the world of poetry. By incorporating a variety of teaching resources and activities, teachers can create a fun and enriching experience for their students.

To begin with, introduce the concept of National Poetry Day to the students. Explain its importance in celebrating the beauty of poetry and its power to unite communities. This will help set the tone for the day and inspire students to appreciate the art form.

A valuable teaching resource for National Poetry Day is the Poetry Place, an online platform offering a plethora of poems and activities tailored specifically for primary school pupils. Utilise the resources available on Poetry Place to inspire a range of creative poetry exercises for the classroom.

Consider organising the following activities to fully embrace National Poetry Day:

  1. Poem of the day: Choose a poem to read aloud to the class, ensuring it is relevant and appropriate for Year Five pupils. Encourage group discussion and analysis of the poem, allowing students to share their thoughts and interpretations.
  2. Create your own poem: Encourage students to write their own poems, either individually or in groups, based on a specific theme or topic. Provide guidance on different poetic forms, such as haiku, limerick, or acrostic poems, to expand their knowledge of various styles.
  3. Poetry performance: Once the students have written their poems, organise a poetry performance where they have the opportunity to recite their work to the class. This exercise helps to develop public speaking skills and allows classmates to celebrate each other’s creativity.

In addition to these activities, don’t forget to integrate a range of multimedia resources to enhance the learning experience.

From videos and podcasts to posters and printable worksheets, these teaching aids can add depth and variety to your lesson plans while catering for different learning styles.

Lastly, use National Poetry Day as a platform to connect with other schools and organisations celebrating the event.

Share your class’s work and accomplishments on social media, blogs, or even within a local newspaper. Gaining recognition for their efforts will undoubtedly boost your students’ confidence and appreciation for poetry.


When teaching poetry in Year Five, it is essential to have a variety of resources at hand to help engage the students and enhance their learning experience.

This section will provide a list of helpful resources and a brief description of how they can be used in a Year Five poetry lesson.

Teaching Resources:

  1. Poetry Anthologies: A well-selected collection of poems can provide a diverse range of styles and themes to explore. These anthologies can include classic poets like William Blake and Christina Rossetti or contemporary poets like Michael Rosen and Carol Ann Duffy.
  2. Poetry Place: An online platform that features a vast selection of poems, activities, and lesson plans tailored for students of all ages. This resource can offer unique ideas and engaging activities to incorporate into Year Five poetry lessons.
  3. Online Poetry Resources: Websites like The Poetry Society and The Children’s Poetry Archive contain a wealth of information, including teaching materials, poetry resources, and tips for bringing poetry to life in the classroom.

Below is a table that highlights a few popular poetry collections and online resources suitable for Year Five students:

101 Poems for ChildrenAnthologyA versatile selection of poems aimed at children
The Works (series)AnthologyA collection of popular children’s poets
Poetry PlaceWebsiteLesson plans and activities for teaching poetry
The Poetry SocietyWebsiteResources and information on poetry education
The Children’s Poetry ArchiveWebsiteRecordings of poems, teaching resources, and more

Apart from the resources mentioned above, teachers can also utilise technology to enrich their poetry lessons. Interactive whiteboards, YouTube videos, and other multimedia tools can help bring poems to life and capture students’ attention.

Lastly, never underestimate the power of creative activities to engage students. Encourage them to write their poems by providing fun writing prompts or using poetry templates.

Alternatively, engage them in dramatic readings, role play, or create visual art inspired by the poems they’ve read.

By incorporating these resources and methods, Year Five teachers can create a rich and enjoyable poetry 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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