Educational Songs with Free Worksheets

Poetry (for Life)

An engaging rap song for teaching the elements of poetry to students. Includes fun worksheets and multiple versions of the song to assist with scaffolding.

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“Poetry (For Life)” helps students understand the elements of poetry as well as how to write poems by using music, rhyme, and repetition. The song presents elements of rhyme and rhythm including meter and feet (iamb, trochee, anapest, and dactyl). The teaching materials, including games and worksheets, help teachers and homeschool parents create lesson plans for the song's topics.

This hip-hop song is suitable for teaching the elements of poetry to advanced elementary school (3rd grade, 4th grade, 5th grade, and 6th grade), middle school, high school, and home school students.
Verse I
When beautiful lyrics start to take form
At that very moment a poem is born
It’s like an emotion you feel in your chest
Sincere words you may find hard to express
But when we look under the hood to see what’s up
You’ll find some basic principles that make it up
It’s more than words that pour from your soul you see
There’s a couple of standard elements of poetry

The rhyme, for instance, is broken down
To a couple of word play styles that change the sound
What usually happens we see all the time
The words sound alike at the end of the lines
But it goes even deeper from there
There a variation in the styles of the rhymes that we hear
There’s perfect and off rhymes, but we can break it down more
So much in store, let’s take our time

Just give me poetry, for life
All I need is that beat, for life
Let’s go, come along with me
Let’s go, come along with me

Verse II
Rhyme means “sounds agree”
So in perfect or off rhymes this is always the key
Perfect means the syllables sound exactly the same
And the rhyme is responsible
In other words to rhyme “time” while using a perfect rhyme
Then I might use “mime”
Perfect cause the both have “-ime”
Their endings are exactly the same so the sound is sublime

Off rhymes are really close too
They’re imperfect, or half the same, all the way through
For instance you could say, I’m on a “streak”
And I could imperfectly rhyme that with the way that I “teach”
So now let’s discuss rhythm
The meter is the tone of the words and the stress that you give them
And then there are the feet
The iamb, the trochee, the anapest, and dactyl get a beat


Verse III
When discussing feet, there’s nothing to it
The other name for these is a poetic unit
The iamb is the most used
A rising foot made of two syllables
With the stress moved to the second syllable
The anapest is the same
Expect there’s three in a row, with the stressing on the third one
The trochee is a falling foot with the accent in the front

And the dactyl’s like the trochee
You still put a stress on the first syllable, but there’s three
So what kind of poem will you write?
There are so many forms
And nobody else can tell you what to like
A ballad basically tells a story
And a haiku is 17 syllables, not wordy
Or a cinquain has 5 lines
A limerick has 5 lines, too, but it’s meant to be cute


Harris Middle School
Introduction to Poetic Writing
This site is an overview of the process of writing a poem.

Lesson Plans & Activities
Appreciating Poetry
This activity teaches students to synthesize and interpret poems using artwork.
Grades 3-5, 6-8

Introduction to Poetry
This classroom activity compares music to poetry, and encourages students to think creatively and freely about what poems are.
Grades 6-8
Comparing Two Poe Classics
This activity asks students to use a Venn diagram to compare and contrast two Edgar Allan Poe classics. This activity can be easily altered using other authors.
Grades 6-8, 9-12

Poetry Shopping Spree
Students “shop” for poems that provide examples of literary elements/devices such as metaphors, similes, personification, imagery, or onomatopoeia.
Grades 6-8, 9-12

Harris Middle School
The “Art” of Poetry
This activity asks students to illustrate their best poem on the sidewalk using chalk. This can be done outside.
Grades 3-8

Famous Poems, and Poets, Poems: Far and Near: A World of Words
Though this classroom activity was designed for a specific school district, it can be applied using any state’s standards. Teachers are to design a poetry scavenger hunt using their required poems. Though adaptable to all grades, this is probably best for Grades 5-12.

Free Verse
This activity describes free verse poetry, and gives students prompts for writing their own.
Grades 6-12

This activity teaches students about haikus and gives examples. Students are then asked to write their own.
Grades 4-12

Students are asked to identify imagery within a poem, and then to write their own poems using creative imagery.
Grades 3-12

This lesson plan describes limericks, and then has several activities including snapping the rhythm of a limerick and filling in pieces of one that’s partially written.
Grades 3-12
This website has activity ideas and lesson plans, as well as links to other resources about poetry.
Grades 6-12

Pete’s PowerPoint Station
This website has powerpoints, lesson plans, activities, examples of poems, quizzes and links to other resources about poetry. Interesting site for all grades

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