Introduction to Poetry – Grade 1


With our Introduction to Poetry – Grade 1 lesson plan, students learn about the basics of poetry, including how to read simple poems and the difference between poetry and prose. They also learn about some common features of poems.

Included with this lesson are some adjustments or additions that you can make if you’d like, found in the “Options for Lesson” section of the Classroom Procedure page. One of the optional additions to this lesson is to have students choose their favorite poem and have them read it to the class or create a poster for it.

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What our Introduction to Poetry – Grade 1 lesson plan includes

Lesson Objectives and Overview: Introduction to Poetry – Grade 1 teaches students how to read basic poetry and how to differentiate between poetry and prose. They will also learn about some of the different parts of a poem, like sound, form, imagery, figurative language, and the speaker. This lesson is for students in 1st grade.

Classroom Procedure

Every lesson plan provides you with a classroom procedure page that outlines a step-by-step guide to follow. You do not have to follow the guide exactly. The guide helps you organize the lesson and details when to hand out worksheets. It also lists information in the orange box that you might find useful. You will find the lesson objectives, state standards, and number of class sessions the lesson should take to complete in this area. In addition, it describes the supplies you will need as well as what and how you need to prepare beforehand. For this lesson, the supplies you will need are poster paper, colored pencils, glue, scissors, and the handouts. To prepare for this lesson ahead of time, you can gather the supplies and copy the handouts.

Options for Lesson

Included with this lesson is an “Options for Lesson” section that lists a number of suggestions for activities to add to the lesson or substitutions for the ones already in the lesson. Two optional additions to the activity are to use additional words or phrases and to have students use words or phrases from existing poems to match each of the senses. Another potential addition to the lesson is to have students choose their favorite poem and have them read it to the class or create a poster for it. You could also invite a poet to speak to your class about their experience. Finally, you could plan a “Poetry Week” with poetry-themed activities to go along with the lesson.

Teacher Notes

The teacher notes page includes a paragraph with additional guidelines and things to think about as you begin to plan your lesson. This page also includes lines that you can use to add your own notes as you’re preparing for this lesson.



The Introduction to Poetry – Grade 1 lesson plan includes three content pages. The lesson begins with a few short poems that students can either read on their own or with the class. The lesson explains that all of them are poetry, which is a specific kind of writing. We also sometimes call this artistic writing. Poetry often aims to either evoke emotions or stir your imagination. Poets are people who write poetry. They choose the words in their poems carefully, making sure they reflect the meaning, sound, and rhythm that they want to.

The lesson then states that there are many different kinds of poetry. Nursery rhymes are one kind. They tend to be shorter and simpler, while other poetry might be longer or more serious. Poetry can tell stories, be in honor of a specific person, or even express something about life! Poems are different from stories and other forms of writing. Stories have a beginning, middle, and end, and include characters (either real or imaginary) who experience a series of events. Stories can be entertaining or teach people a lesson. Poems, however, are typically shorter than stories or novels. They almost never have the beginning, middle, and end that stories do. Poems are also usually up to the interpretation of the reader.

Poetry is also a more creative kind of writing than other types. They often use many words or phrases that are meant to evoke your senses, and don’t always follow normal sentence structure or punctuation. They are often misunderstood for these reasons. Stories have titles, chapters, characters, and a plot. Poems also have common structural features. One of these features is sound. This could related to the rhyming words used in a poem. Another feature is form, which relates to numbers of lines and stanzas.

Parts of a Poem

The next section of the lesson describes the five things that most poems have. Not all poems have all of these things, but many do! All of these elements are important to consider when reading or writing poetry. The first is sound. Poems often rhyme, and there is a rhythm to the way the author writes the words. Also, poems can include different words that have the same sound. The second element is form. The form of a poem is how it looks, the way it’s written, and how the lines and stanzas written or grouped together.

The third element is imagery, which are words that the poet uses that relate to the five senses. Using imagery allows a reader to better visualize and understand what the author is trying to say. The next element is figurative language. This is when people use words or phrases in a new way. One example of figurative language is comparing a person to an animal. The final element is the speaker, which is essentially the narrator and is the “voice” in the poem. All of these elements are very important to keep in mind when reading or writing a poem.


The Introduction to Poetry – Grade 1 lesson plan includes three worksheets: an activity worksheet, a practice worksheet, and a homework assignment. You can refer to the guide on the classroom procedure page to determine when to hand out each worksheet.


For the activity worksheet, students will cut out phrases that might appear in poems. They must then glue them under the correct sense. They will also include drawings or pictures for each phrase.

Students may also work either in pairs or groups for the activity if you’d prefer.


The practice worksheets asks students to read two poems and answer questions about them. This allows students to practice doing close readings of poetry using what they learned during the lesson.


For the homework assignment, students will read an excerpt from a poem called Little Orphant Annie by James Whitcomb Riley. They must then answer questions about the poem, with help from a parent or other adult if necessary.

Worksheet Answer Keys

This lesson plan includes answer keys for the activity worksheet, the practice worksheet, and the homework assignment. If you choose to administer the lesson pages to your students via PDF, you will need to save a new file that omits these pages. Otherwise, you can simply print out the applicable pages and keep these as reference for yourself when grading assignments.

Additional information


1st Grade



State Educational Standards


Lessons are aligned to meet the education objectives and goals of most states. For more information on your state objectives, contact your local Board of Education or Department of Education in your state.

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Derek D.

Wonderful Lesson and Acitivities

I love the Poetry Lesson I utilized from Clarendon. It was truly helpful in assisting my instruction of poetry. Fantastic!

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Introduction to Poetry

This lesson was very beneficial to my poetry class.