Poetry Writing Unit for Primary Grades

I love teaching poetry!

I have included a fun, FREE Figurative Language book for you on this post .

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Even though I have this labeled as Unit 8 in my Writing Series, I actually teach poetry throughout the entire year.

These are the anchor charts I refer to often, and we love to practice the figurative language.

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Black and white versions of these posters are included as well, and I put them in my students’ poetry folders (see below.)

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I make my students Poetry Folders, and this makes it super easy to prep and plan for the entire year.

My kiddos love this, and so do I!

I start the year off by teaching my students these terms and we have fun practicing them. There are some cute, free videos on YouTube I’ll add links to that practice figurative language.

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For my students’ first poem, we do an All About Me Poem which reminds them that poems do not have to rhyme. You can keep these pages right in their folder too. I put them at the front after the Poetry Anchor Charts.

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Next we do color poems which we always enjoy.

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There is a cute rainbow song we like to sing about all the colors.


After we do the Color and All About Me activities, we get right into our monthly routine.

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Every month we follow a similar routine, and the activities are hands-on and engaging so my students look forward to our poetry days.

We practice the same poem throughout the month to help them gain fluency and confidence.

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There are also several extension activities that correlate with each monthly poem.

I explain how I use these activities below.

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All my monthly poems are in color and BW.

I display the color ones and put the BW versions in their folders.

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There are so many ways to implement these activities and be successful!

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Here is what I find works well throughout the month.

Of course you can implement these activities as you see fit.

I prefer small groups for many of the activities, but some teachers are successful doing everything whole group.


  1. Introduce the poem whole group. Project the color poem from your document camera or computer on to your front board and read it a few times.

  2. Choral read the poem - my kids love doing monster voices, silly voices, witch voices, turkey voices, Santa’s voice, snowman voice… they think this is so funny! But it gets them engaged, reading and practicing rhythm, fluency, etc.

  3. Practice finding their sight words in the poem.

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  1. After reading the poem a few times in week 1 as a class, we read the poem together in their folders with the BW copies. I have them underline the rhyming words. This is the perfect activity to do in small groups (This is what I do on the days I am not doing my Read and Write like a Rock Star activities.)

  2. Complete the comprehension questions that correlate - rhyming words, drawing conclusions and making an illustration. This also works best for me in small groups.

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  1. Looks like, Sounds like, Feels like, Tastes like, Smells like monthly activity.

  2. Continue practice reading the poem.

  3. Poetry Pocket Chart Activity (see more on this below)

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This is when I let them explore the poem in a pocket chart. Sometimes I use this whole group in a morning warm up or if I need a five minute filler. I just change out the poem each month!

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  1. Writing their own monthly poem.

  2. Continue with the pocket chart activity.

  3. Practice fluency with the poem. By now they can usually buddy read it while I help students write their poems.

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The monthly writing page comes with a vocabulary word bank to help kiddos who are stumped about what to write about.

This also helps with spelling key words.

Here is a peek at what a typical month’s work of activities looks like.

You can break these activities up throughout the entire month!

You can do the activities week by week (like I detailed above) or however you see fit.

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Each month gets progressively harder throughout the school year.

August (Back to School) starts very basic, and by May, June and July the poems, comprehension questions and activities will be more challenging.

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Here is a fun, figurative language FREEBIE for you to try with your students!

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This FREEBIE is included in our Exclusive Freebie Library.

If you wish to sign up, you can access it right away, along with many other free printables.

Ready to get started teaching Poetry?!

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“Thanks for this awesome resources. It's very helpful.”

“I bought this when I desperately needed some poetry materials, and now I am sold. Not just on this unit, but I have my eye on the other units. Super accessible to the kids, and lets you implement poetry all year!”

“These poems are EXCELLENT! I love changing them up each month and my students love that the poem changes with our classroom calendar. I am using them in a first grade classroom.”

“Made teaching poetry in Kindergarten a breeze. Very structured for my K/1 self-contained class. Thanks! : )"




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Need more writing ideas?

These writing units are all Common Core Aligned and will take you through the entire school year!