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A step-by-step poetry writing guide for children

Team StoryWeavers|November 15, 2021| 1

step-by-step poetry writing guide children

“I need about one hundred fifty drafts of a poem to get it right, and fifty more to make it sound spontaneous.”

James Dickey, American poet and Novelist

Young children love songs and rhymes. They enjoy the repetitive nature of poems and are often found singing their favourite rhymes. However, very few children attempt to write a poem, simply because it seems like such a task. 

We have seen an overwhelming response to our step-by-step story writing framework, so this time we will let you in on our secret step-by-step guide to writing your very first poem. 

Intrigued much? Let’s get started. 

(Click to read the section) 

Important things for parents to remember before starting

This step-by-step guide is for little children and will result in a basic poem. Once children get the hang of writing poetry, they can start writing advanced, and more detailed verses. Here are some guidelines for parents to follow before they get started with the process to ensure a more fun yet disciplined approach to poetry writing:

  • Ask your child to draw or tell the poem, if they cannot write yet. Encourage them to express themselves. After all, poetry is about self-expression. 
  • Set a timer for 30 minutes every day when they have to work on their poem. 
  • If the child is struggling with spellings, ask them to spell words phonetically. Do not criticize them for their spellings initially. It may hamper their confidence. Once the poem is written, proofreading and spell checks can be done.
  • Praise them for the beautiful poem that they have written, even if it consists mostly of pictures or is incoherent. Find something to praise. 
  • Get them a notebook exclusively for writing poems. They can use this notebook to write during quiet time or alone time
  • Encourage your child to read out the poem to all the family members during dinner.

A step-by-step guide to writing your first-ever poem

Here is a poetry writing framework for young children. Like all other skills, poetry writing is also a skill and can be practised. Do praise their efforts and encourage them to write better every single day. Try not to rush them into writing a poem; go through the steps and allot appropriate time for them to master each step before moving on to the next. Some children will do it faster than others, and some will take a bit longer. It’s all good. They are still learning and will soon find their poetry writing mojo!

Step 1: Acquaint your child with different kinds of poems, mainly fun ones (Time: Approx. 2 days)

Before you introduce poetry writing to your children, it is important to expose them to fun poems to create an interest in poetry. If you do not have access to fun poems that would get them to giggle and find poetry intriguing, you can try searching the internet for keywords like ‘funny poems for children grade 1.’ You could also search for famous children’s poets such as Ruskin Bond and Kenn Nesbitt. It’d grant you access to so many age-appropriate funny poems that your child will grow to love. 

Step 2: Practise rhyming words with your child (Time: Approx. 2 days)

Writing poems is incredibly difficult, especially for children. Now that children know that poems can be so much fun, teach them about rhyming words. Engage in an exercise where you tell them a word and the child tells you words that rhyme with that word. For example: Parents give the child the word ‘hat,’ and the child then comes up with rhyming words — mat, rat, cat, sat, bat, look at, etc. 

If your child can write, get them to make a note of these rhyming words in their notebook. Continue with this exercise till your child can tell you at least three rhyming words for any of the words suggested by you. 

Here are some words to get you started: 

  • Walk: Talk, Block, Clock, Hawk, Lock, Rock, Sock, Shock, etc
  • Look: Book, Hook, Took, Cook, Crook, etc
  • Ran: Can, Fan, Man, Tan, Plan, etc
  • Kite: Write, Might, White, Quite, Satellite, etc
  • Ball: Call, Fall, Small, Mall, Wall, All, Tall, etc
  • Day: Clay, Stay, Array, Hay, Away, Play, Hurray, etc
  • Child: Wild, Mild, Styled, Smiled, etc
  • Sleep: Keep, Deep, Jeep, Sheep, Heap, etc

Note for parents: Please keep the word list easy to build their confidence. 

Step 3: Practise rhyming sentences with your child (Time: Approx. 2 – 3 days)

Now that your child can rhyme words, step up the game and get them to rhyme sentences. It will get them to link two sentences together, which is the first step towards writing your first poem. Furthermore, rhyming sentences is less overwhelming than writing a poem. It will help them build confidence and inculcate an ‘I can’ attitude. 

Here are some sentences to get you started:

  • I have a bed; That is red
  • I am eating dinner; I am a lottery winner
  • I have a pet; I have never seen it sweat
  • I like rain; I am on a plane
  • I am never late; I don’t remember what I ate.
  • I went to the zoo; the gate was blue
  • Tim is my friend; our friendship will never end

Note for parents: Please keep the sentence list easy to build their confidence. 

Step 4: Practise rhyming four or more sentences with your child (Time: Approx. 3 days)

At this stage, your child knows how to rhyme sentences and weave them together. This is a perfect time to get them to rhyme multiple sentences of a single theme. It allows them to write basic poems. It can be your child’s first poetry writing accomplishment. Do ensure that you reward this with ample praise and encouragement. 

Here are some topics to get you started:

  • I have a kite;
    which is white.
    It looks great in the sky;
    I wish I could fly
  • I want to be a spy;
    Do you know why?
    Because I am a good guy;
    And want to catch people who lie

Step 5: Encourage the child to write poems independently

After step 4, your child knows what it takes to write their very first poem. Parents at this stage need to encourage their child to write poems independently. Try not to introduce changes to the child’s poems, it may make the child feel like they are not doing a good job. Ask the child to present their poems to family members. You can also encourage them to illustrate their poems and create a poetry book. 

Writing poetry is not easy at any age. It requires a lot of patience and practice. You can also write poems using this method with your child to make it even more fun. 

Have you tried any such poetry writing framework before? Are you excited to see the poems that your child will write at the end of this? Do share the poems written by your child in the comment section, or drop us a line at [email protected]

Looking forward to reading all the wonderful poems!

About the Author

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Mekhala Joshi

“Me-kha-la!” That happens at least once when she introduces herself to new people. She’s the only ‘Mekhala’ she knows, and she takes a bit of pride in that. She is a quintessential introvert. Mekhala loves tea but cannot make a good cup of tea and often ends up having coffee. She claims that she takes all adjectives as compliments unless specified otherwise. Mekhala is an organizational psychologist and psychometrician. She was a class teacher of 36 adorable girls for two years, grade 2 & 3, as a part of Teach For India Fellowship. And has worked as an independent consultant for a couple of years.

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Renuka Malipatel

November 24, 2021

Very helpful and good👍


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