Poetry Lessons: The List Poem


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Word document. Editable. Cover plus one page. List poems are a great way to get your older students writing poems. Many of my students are intimidated by poetry and actually groan when I bring it up. However, the “list poem” is an unintimidating form and I’ve made this sheet so it’s super easy to get started.

Here’s what’s on this handout:

  • some sample titles for students to choose from
  • a super brief explanation and directions
  • a few tips to make your students’ poems really shine
  • my own list poem (Things That Take Me By Surprise) as a mentor text. (Yes, I actually listed “student engagement” as something that takes me by surprise. I’m just keepin’ it real. My older students usually appreciate that.)

If you need something quick, fun, and won’t intimidate your poetry novices, try out this assignment: The List Poem.

If you need more examples for your students, check out Naomi Shihab Nye’s similar poem here titled “Daily.


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