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  • Writer's pictureWrite and Read (Laura)

Creative Poetry Activities for Secondary ELA

Updated: Apr 3

Writing poetry can sometimes intimidate middle and high school students, but these fun, engaging activities will have your students hooked! Writing poetry in Secondary ELA can be exciting when you ditch the pencils and get creative. Check out these creative poetry writing activities.

Found Poetry

To create found poetry, you will need to plan ahead. Ask family and friends to save magazines and newspapers for you. The art teachers in your building may also have some you can use. Before you get started, also think about requirements you want for the final poems.

To create the poems, students will cut words and letters from magazines and newspapers to piece their poems together. When they have their lines organized, they will glue them down on construction paper. The end result is bright and interesting and makes for a cool bulletin board display.

Blackout Poetry

Blackout poetry is a great way to include poetry in your curriculum if your class is reading a novel or long short story. To create blackout poems, copy some pages of the text, and provide each student with a page. Students will use the words from the text to create their poem and black out anything they don’t need. You can make this more challenging for students by having them base their poems on a theme or symbol from the text.

Magnetic Poetry

Magnetic poems can be a fun collaborative assignment. You can find little tins of magnetic words on Amazon. If you have small children at home, you may also have letter refrigerator magnets on hand. Either can work. Just think about how many groups will need a set.

To set this up in class, provide each group with their own magnets and a specific work area on the whiteboard. Have the groups compete in challenges that test the content they have been learning in class. For example, which group can create a 15 line poem that includes an extended metaphor the fastest? What groups can create a poem with a specific theme in just 15 minutes? Students love competitions, and they will have a blast.

I hope you found a poetry activity your students will love, but if these require too much prep work for you, there are other creative options that just require making copies. My poetry creative writing unit has engaging poetry writing activities with minimal prep. It's just one more resource to help your students fall in love with poetry.

Happy teaching!

- Laura




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