Friday, January 8, 2016

What is Poetry?

I love starting off our poetry unit with a simple, open-ended question: what is poetry?

Students have a chance to free-write about their thoughts in their notebook, and everyone is encouraged to write at least a half page, whether that is a narrative, a list, or even a poem. (I have found that having that half-page minimum requirement often forces kids to go above-and-beyond their initial thoughts and to push their thinking into more descriptive territory.)

It is incredible the different ways that kids have to express what poetry is and what it means to them. These are just a few of my recent favorites.

What is Poetry?

Poetry: a poem to tell you about what poetry is by Nathaniel

Poetry is a way to express your feelings in a beautiful manner.
Poetry shows your love in the art of writing.
Poetry flows through the lines
and shows the reader your thoughts.
The answer to
life is

Response to What is Poetry?
By: Sadie

The way snowflakes fall
The starry night in which
I fell.
The poetic meaning of life
Returning feeling in your mind
A sad song
The silent words of the mountain
The whisper in your ear
A flutter
A gentle rhythm
A love song to words
The stripes of a cheetah
Neon's emotions
The return of the wind

And finally, straight out of the notebook, from Umber:

What is poetry for you?

This week's Poetry Roundup is being hosted by Tabatha at the Opposite of Indifference.


  1. I love these examples of what is poetry? They remind me of poems my past 8th graders wrote using different metaphors to describe poetry. My favorite was the one comparing a poem to a puzzle.

  2. Those are beautiful!! They really understand poetry.

  3. Oh, my!! still my heart!!


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