Formatted poem

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A formatted poem can be used in class to develop vocabulary in a particular field and to consolidate student awareness of different parts of speech. Different variations of formatted poems are as folllows:

Basic formatted poem 1[edit]

  • The teacher sets a noun as a title to the poem or allows students to choose their own e.g. "frogs"
  • The teacher demonstrates, then instructs students to brainstorm/mindmap nouns, adjectives and verbs which are associated with this subject e.g.:
    • Verbs: leap, jump, hop, sit, catch, swim, kick, croak, blink, sing....
    • Adjectives: green, brown, colourful, dull, poisonous, slimy, wise, quick, wet, slippery, tranquil, versatile...
    • Nouns: frog, tadpole, frogspawn, pond, legs, tongue...
  • Once the lists are ready, the teacher instructs students to use their word lists to form a poem with the following structure:

adjective, adjective
gerund, gerund, gerund
adjective, noun

Which would result in a basic formatted poem like this:

noun Frog
adjective, adjective Slimy, wet
gerund, gerund, gerund Croaking, blinking, leaping
clause A frog loves a pond
adjective, noun Wise frog

Basic formatted poem 2[edit]

To exemplify how the format can be altered, the following poem is still simple to write and the procedure is the same as for basic formatted poem 1 above.

adjective, adjective
preposition, adjective, noun
verb, adverb
question word

Producing something like this:

noun Space
adjective, adjective Empty, black
preposition, adjective, noun Out of massive universe
verb, adverb Moving slowly
question word Where?

Advanced formatted poem[edit]

This poem demands a thorough understanding of parts of speech and also a wider vocabulary resource.

  • The teacher sets a noun as a title to the poem or allows students to choose their own e.g. "clouds"
  • The teacher dictates the following list of parts of speech in the given order: determiner, noun, verb, adverb, preposition, determiner, adjective, noun, conjunction, pronoun, verb (pausing after each).
  • After hearing each part of speech the students should write a word that is related to the topic/poem title.

The final result might read something like this:

Determiner this
Noun cloud
Verb drift
Adverb softly
Preposition over
Determiner those
Adjective silent
Noun river
Conjunction while
Pronoun she
Verb sleep
  • Following completion most poems won´t be 100% ready, so the students should read and edit their poems, punctuating them and tweaking the grammar wherever necessary to form poetry such as this:

Those clouds.

Drifting silently

Over the silent river,

While it sleeps

  • The students share poems in pairs and, if they are willing, with the class.

See also[edit]