Some students may naturally gravitate toward poetry and artistic literature while others follow the misconceptions of poetry being boring or for older people. Despite hesitations or protests from these kids, the study of poetry can provide a gateway into a more creative way of learning and viewing the world. As the famous poet Percy Bysshe Shelley once wrote, “Poetry lifts the veil from the hidden beauty of the world, and makes familiar objects be as if they were not familiar.” For those students who might not willingly dive right into the world of stanzas, schemes, and syllables, here are four common types of poetry to start off their journey into the world of poems.
Types of Poetry: Free Verse
Children’s author and U.S. Children’s Poet Laureate J. Patrick Lewis said of kids and poetry, “Children will not gravitate to poetry, poetry must be brought to them . . . Let your child decide whether free verse or rhyme, Silverstein or Shakespeare, most excites him or her.” Free verse poetry may be the best entry into this exploration of the types of poetry because it is less structured and likely more easy for students to write themselves.
Types of Poetry: Haiku
Students learning to write haiku (it’s both a singular and plural noun) will learn how to consolidate their writing succinctly while expanding their vocabulary into more descriptive and concise words. For those who love science over poetry, your student may be surprised to learn that even the periodic table can be turned into 119 haiku!
Types of Poetry: Limerick
Similarly to mnemonic devices, limericks can be used to help memorize facts related to all other subject areas from anatomy to engineering. Because they are fun and contain short rhymes, incorporating limericks as a methodology to recall information can be a motivational and highly beneficial tool for student learning.
Types of Poetry: Sonnet
The sonnet may be the most stereotypical poem when kids assume that poems are just about love and are for grown-ups. While this may be the case for many, sonnets are also categorized as being dramatic poems full of real struggles, wild adventures, and creative imaginations. Additionally, much can be learned from a historical perspective since sonnets have spanned centuries and crossed cultures.
While all children are unique in their strengths and interests, these four types of poetry can be influential for all students in opening the doors to creativity, language development, and broader perspectives on cultural and historical contexts. Have you found poetry to be beneficial to your student in any unique or unexpected way? Share with us in the comments below.