One challenge new English teachers face is learning how to properly manage their time during class. As it might had happened, sometimes you end the lesson too quickly, or your students blow past your exercises. Or you simply need a different activity to help your students wind down from a difficult subject matter. Most of us have worksheets and exercises ready for this eventuality.
With that in mind, today I’ll share one of my top go-to exercises for these situations. I’m talking about poetry. The subject of poetry can be set up as a lesson on its own. It’s a fantastic way to introduce your students to Creative Writing, it can be a relaxing exercise for the imaginative side of the brain, but also works great as a filler.
Poetry is accessible to students of any level, but it’s best suited for students level 2 and up. There are many styles of poetry but I usually focus on 3-4 and their combinations: Cinquains, Epics or Ballads and Acrostics.
Cinquains are five-line poems, inspired by Japanese Haikus.
from dawn to dusk
he fought the sea
sailed these waters, dark and mean
crossed half a hemisphere,
just to come home, just to come here
Epics or Ballads tell stories about a hero or a tall tale.
even if the world’s in peril
even if death calls our name
even if the end is near
we do not have any fear
because superman is here
Acrostics spell the name of person or thing in the first letter of each line while the poem describes the word.
boy plays by the river
light and color makes him shiver
under the sphere of the sky
ever makes him want to fly
Bear in mind, by no means I see myself as a poet, but that’s the beauty of it, anybody can do it. As a free-writing exercise, let your students mix and match. Write with them, make them rhyme or go free form, have them read each other’s poems, apply and reinforce grammar lessons, etc.
There are many ways you can apply these writing exercises into your curriculum and I hope you enjoy coming up with your own.