Five Types of Poems for Elementary School

Reading and writing poems allows elementary school students to practice creative thinking and explore different forms of expression. However, poetry is more than just the art of making pretty words rhyme. Different types of poetry present different rhythmic possibilities and a wide variety of subject matter.

Narrative Poetry

Narrative poems combine plots with verse. These narratives can be long or brief and may include or exclude a rhyme scheme. These poems can also cover a variety of different subjects. For example, epic poems are a type of narrative poetry that describes the heroics of a certain individual. Idylls, on the other hand, are narratives that describe events in country settings.

Haiku Poetry

Haiku poetry originated in 13th-century Japan. In most cases, these poems present five syllables in the first line, seven in the second line and five syllables in the final line. While haiku poetry can address any subject, traditional haiku tend to place emphasis on nature.

Limerick Poetry

Limericks contain five lines and a distinct rhyme scheme. The first, second and fifth lines end in words that rhyme with each other; meanwhile, the final words in the third and fourth lines rhyme with one another, but not necessarily the rest of the poem. Limericks often deal with comedic or absurd subjects. Mother Goose nursery rhymes used easily memorable limericks to appeal to younger audiences.

Free Verse Poetry

Free verse poems aren’t restricted by rules. Rhyming and rhythm is optional and, in some cases, lineation can take on unusual patterns. The famous poet Robert Frost compared free verse poetry’s disregard for structure to playing tennis without a net. Free verse poems can address any subject matter.

Lyrical Poetry

Lyrical poetry places emphasis on moods and emotions. Lyrical poems are often accompanied by music, resulting in song lyrics; however, this is not always the case. Some examples of lyrical poetry include ballades -- poems with a French origin -- or odes -- poems that glorify important people and events -- as well as sonnets, which Shakespeare employed in many of his works.

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