Read what a teacher says about this activity:

‘Writing simple poems is a great way to practise English. Poems help learners improve their vocabulary, grammar and pronunciation. They can also understand rhyme, rhythm and language structure. This motivates learners to use English.’ 

As learners develop their own ideas and creativity, they become able to say what they really want. This is very motivating.   

Stage 1: Prepare 

Review main ideas which learners will need to know:  

  • nouns 
  • adjectives 
  • -ing participles (e.g. jumping) 
  • phrases 
  • synonyms

Stage 2: Explain 

Say: ‘Today we are going to write some poetry. The poems we will write have five lines. They start and end with one word.’  

On the board write: 

  • a one-word title (noun)  
  • two adjectives  
  • three -ing words  
  • a phrase  
  • a synonym for your title (another noun). 

Give an example. Point to each line on the board as you read the poem. 

For example:  


red, delicious 

crunching, chewing, eating 

my favourite snack 


Check that the learners make a link between the words and the parts of speech. 

Stage 3: Work as a class 

Say: ‘Now let’s try and write a poem together. Let’s choose a topic.’ 

Elicit ideas from the class. Remind learners that they need to be able to describe the object they select. You could restrict them to one type of object, e.g. fruit, animals or vehicles. 

Write the poem together on the board. For example: 


big, long 

driving, speeding, passing 

carrying lots of vegetables 


Stage 4: Create 

Draw this writing frame on the board to support learners as they write. 


A one-word title 

 _________________ , __________________ 

Two adjectives 

__________________ , _______________ , ___________ 

Three -ing words  


A short phrase about the topic 


A synonym for your title (a noun) 

Say: ‘Think of your own topic. Use the writing frame and write your own poem. Draw the lines and write your words on them.’ 

Circulate and assist where necessary.  

Stage 5: Share 

Encourage some of the learners to read their poems to the class. 

Display the poems in the classroom and do a gallery walk

Adapt the lesson by pre-selecting topics that relate to subjects that are being learned about. 

For younger learners, simplify the frame by leaving out some of the words or lines.


Circulate: To move around the classroom to check what learners are doing, and if they need any help. 

Elicit: How a teacher gets information from learners, e.g. asking questions, prompting. 

Gallery walk: Putting learners’ work (e.g. writing/pictures) on the classroom walls, and inviting them to look at what their friends have created. 

Participle: The form of a verb that ends -ed or -ing, and is used as an adjective (e.g. cooked, walking). 

Synonym: A word which has a similar meaning to another word (e.g. wide and broad, speak and talk).