How to Teach English Using Poems


Poetry can be used to teach structure, grammar and vocabulary. Aside from these benefits, using poetry to teach English can also promote creativity and a more positive learning environment. By encouraging students to write poetry, and to share it with the class in an atmosphere of respect and constructive criticism, you create a safe and free environment for the students to learn. This is turn, will help the students to achieve greater progress as English language learners.

  • Have students keep a poetry journal. Each day at the end of class, ask the students to write in their journal a poem reflecting on the day or any ideas or feelings they may have.

  • Ask the students to review their work at the end of the week and to choose their favorite poem from their journal.

  • Tape up each students poem onto a large bulletin board with a blank paper beside it. Have students read and evaluate each poem, leaving constructive criticism. The students can then collect their poems and read the critiques.

  • Ask a volunteer to read their poem to the class. Have the class discuss poetic structure and the use and order of nouns, verbs, adverbs and adjectives.


  • Photo Credit pile of books image by Bartlomiej Nowak from
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