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Telling Time Poems  

Some concepts taught and skills readily reinforced through poems daily:
•love of poetry and language •increase memory skills •develop concepts •rhyme scheme •rhyming words •word families •endings •contractions •antonyms/synonyms/homonyms •little words within big words • vowel sounds • figurative language (metaphors & similes) •parts of speech (nouns, verbs, etc.) •identifying facts (especially in Meish Goldish's poems!) •type of poem (couplet, etc.) •handwriting lessons •alliteration •quotation marks •vocabulary •sequence •counting skills •dictionary & thesaurus use •poet studies

Great Poetry Resources on the Web:
Giggle Poetry: includes poems, fill-in-the-blanks, contests...

Poem Frames & Recipes


Persona Poem

Poetry Class - LOTS of frames, lessons, etc.

Finding Material for Poetry Minilessons page - great resource by 2 first-grade teachers with suggested poets and suggested minilessons!

KidzPage! Poetry and verse for children of all ages page - with LOTS of poems and links! Includes poems by Ogden Nash and links to schools' poetry pages.


Two-lined poems with a fun and simple rhyming pattern. Each line has the same number of syllables and their endings must rhyme with one another. Humor is often used in couplets.

The Shark poem: an excellent example of a longer poem created with couplets.

Fun to do with students' names at the beginning of the year to create a class poem!   

A starfish crawled upon the beach,
But still remained just out of reach.

by Mrs. Sinclair



Triplets are three-lined poems that rhyme. Each line has the same number of syllables


This type of poetry always has four lines and rhymes in one of four ways. Poets use letters to show the pattern of rhyme. The four types of rhyme for a quatrain are: AABB, ABAB, ABBA, and ABCB. Examples are linked.


Cinquain Poems #1

Cinq is the French word for "five". A cinquain is a short, five-line, nonrhyming poem which follows the following format:

First line - The title (one word)
2nd line - Describes the title (two words)
3rd line - Express action (three words)
4th line - A feeling or thought (four words)
5th line - A synonym for the title or a word close in meaning to it.


Majestic mammals
Sing sweet songs
Sometimes make me cry

by Mrs. Sinclair

Cinquain Poems #2

In this variation the lines depend on parts of speech and syllables. The pattern is:

1st line - one noun of 2 syllables
2nd line - adjectives with a total of 4 syllables that describe the noun
3rd line - words showing action and having a total of 6 syllables (-ing words work well)
4th line - words with a total of 8 syllables that tell how you feel about the noun
5th line - Another noun of 2 syllables that makes you think of the first noun


A form of Japanese poetry that depends on the number of lines and syllables instead of rhyme. The pattern is:

Line 1 = 5 syllables
Line 2 = 7 syllables
Line 3 = 5 syllables
Line 4 = 7 syllables
Line 5 = 7 syllables



Haiku is a Japanese poem with no rhyme. Haiku poems have only three lines, each with a certain number of syllables. Here is the pattern:

Line 1 = 5 syllables
Line 2 = 7 syllables
Line 3 = 5 syllables


Diamante Poems, Method 1

Diamante is a seven-line, diamond-shaped poem which contrasts two opposites. It is more a visual poem than one to be read aloud. Students can illustrate their final copies to produce an art piece. It follows this format:

First Line and seventh line - Name the opposites.
Second and sixth lines - Two adjectives describing the opposite nearest it.
Third and fifth lines - Three participles (ing words) describing the nearest opposite.
Fourth line - two nouns (if possible) for each of the opposites. (This is the transition point where the poem changes from one of the opposites to the other.)

Snowcapped, windswept,
Reaching, waiting, challenging
mountain ranges, ocean trenches,
Obscuring, waiting, daunting
Dark, black

by Mrs. Sinclair


A sonnet is a poem of fourteen lines. It begins with three quatrains and ends with one couplet (rhyme scheme: a, b, a, b, c, d, c, d, e, f, e, f, g, g).


Acrostic Poems

Acrostics are easy to write and the format is simple. The name of the person, object,or place is written vertically down the left hand side of the page. Each letter is capitalized and becomes the first letter of the word beginning each line. The words used should describe the person, object or place in a positive way. Each line may comprise a word, a phrase or a thought that is continued on to the next line. Acrostics require writers to choose the best words and the best sentence construction within the limitations imposed by the form.

Hear them sing sweet songs
Underwater near
My home on Molokai.
Playfully they
And slap the water.
Can I come swim with you
Kindhearted beast?

by Mrs. Sinclair


A limerick is a whimsical poem with only five lines. This type of poem depends on rhythm and rhyme. It follows a AABBA rhyme scheme.

Dream Poem

In each line of the poem, the student describes what an animal or an object dreams about at night.

The snail dreams of his shell.
The surfboard dreams of a big wave.

Persona Poems

Each line is a question addressed to an animal or a thing. A good way to introduce this is to do a shared writing of one where each student contributes one line.

Shark, do you feel sorry for the fish you kill?
Jellyfish, do you giggle when you move?
Squid, where do you go at night?



List Poems

1. Write a poem in which every line contains a color.

Write a poem in which every line is a thank you to someone or something. A student might want to thank his father, his dog, his baseball bat, his pencil, the sky, the person who invented ice cream. Be sure the student says exactly what he is thankful for (thanking his pencil for writing down all his math problems or his mother for packing a tuna fish sandwich in his lunch).


If I Were a ____________Poem

Uses this framework:

If I were a _____________
I'd _________ and
I'd _________ and
I'd _________.
I'd be _____________!

Frame for center work

If I Were a Pirate

If I were a pirate
I'd swagger and
I'd wear a patch and
I'd attack treasure boats.
I'd be fearsome!

LANTERN POEMSLantern poems are written in the shape of Japanese lanterns. Their shape is formed by using five lines, each with a different number of syllables. The number of syllables for each line are: line 1 = 1 syllable line 2 = 2 syllables line 3 = 3 syllables line 4 = 4 syllables line 5 = 1 syllable  

Poetry Terminology

Accent - the stronger tone of voice that is given to certain syllables or words.

Feet - a foot consists of one stressed syllable and one or two unstressed syllables.

monometer - one foot pentameter - five feet
dimeter - two feet hexameter - six feet

trimeter - three feet

heptameter - seven feet

tetrameter - four feet

octometer - eight feet


Meter - the rhythm pattern of lines in a pome. It is the arrangement of accents in a line of poetry.

Poem - a form of writing in verse. While many poems consist of lines that rhyme, rhyming is not necessary.

Rhyme - to sound alike in the last part.

Rhythm - regular repetition of a beat or accent.

Stanza - a group of lines of poetry arranged in a specific order. (A verse of a poem.)

Syllable - a word or part of a word pronounced as one unit. A syllable usually consists of a vowel alone or a vowel with one or more consonants.

Verse - lines of words with a regular repeated accent which often rhyme. (A group of lines of poetry.)

Books to Help You Teach Poetry

Writing Poetry with Children, Joy Evans & Jo Ellen Moore, Evan-Moor 1988
Poems to Grow On: Poetry Activities for Young Children, Mabel Chandler Duch, Fearon Teacher Aids 1997

Telling Time Poems #1 pdf file
Telling Time Poems #2 pdf file
Telling Time Poems #3 pdf file
Calendar Poems pdf file
Cover for Time Rhymes book - add hands!