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Poetry KS2

Poetry KS2 Lesson Packs:

Chocolate Poetry

Year 4 Poetry Lessons


Year 5 Nonsense Poetry

Cloud Busting

Year 5 Narrative Poetry

An Emotional Menagerie

Year 6 Poetry Lessons

The Owl who was Afraid of the Dark English Pack

3x Year 3 Poetry Lessons

Tales of Ancient Egypt English Pack

4x Year 3 Poetry Lessons

The Butterfly Lion English Pack

3x Year 5 Poetry Lessons

This is Me English Pack

4x Year 6 Poetry Lessons

Poetry KS2

Why teach poetry in primary schools?

Often, poetry is not seen as important in schools. However, teaching children to read, write, respond and perform poetry can have enormous benefits. Here are our top 4 reasons to teach poetry in primary schools:

  1. Poetry is a more free form of writing where the usual rules and conventions don't seem to apply. This can help give children confidence in their writing and this sense of freedom can be a real motivator to reluctant writers.
  2. It can be used across the curriculum and bring subjects to life! For example, children could write a kennings poem about one of the organs of the body in Science or they could write a narrative poem to help them demonstrate their understanding of a historical event.
  3. It can be a really good way into reading for children. Many poems are fun, humorous and have less words on the page than a typical story or non-fiction text. Also, rhyme and repetition are excellent ways for young learners to develop an awareness of language, phonic patterns and rhythms.
  4. Writing poetry encourages children to be creative with their use of language. Poetry allows you to play with language and sentence structure. This creativity teaches children to experiment with language and thus find different ways to communicate.

Haiku KS2

A Haiku is a traditional Japanese poem that follows a tight syllabic structure. Haikus do not normally rhyme and they are usually written in the present tense. They juxtapose two subjects, usually related to some kind of natural or seasonal phenomenon.

Key features of haiku KS2:
  • Haikus have 3 lines
  • They have a total of 17 syllables
  • Line 1 has 5 syllables
  • Line 2 has 7 syllables
  • Line 3 has 5 syllables
Example of a haiku KS2:

Snowflakes falling down

They scatter when winter's here

Making white blankets

Shape Poems

The correct name for a shape poem is a calligram. This is a type of poetry where the shape and layout of the letters and words on the paper relate to the poem's meaning. In shape poems, the shapes made by the letters, lines or verses expresses the meaning of the poem.

Key features of Shape Poems:
  • The shape of the poem expresses the meaning of the poem
  • A great way to unite learning in Art and English
  • Also called a calligram

Free verse poetry KS2

In free verse poetry, the structure is very loose. This is in contrast to many other forms of poetry which have tight structures. Free verse poetry is characterised by irregular rhythm and rhyme (although both may be used within free verse poems). Irregular line length is a feature of free verse poetry and literary devices such as alliteration, metaphor and similes are often used.

Key features of free verse poetry KS2:
  • Loose structure
  • Irregular rhythm and rhyme
  • Literary devices often used.

Limerics KS2

Limerics are often humorous and their origins can be traced back to the early years of the 18th century. Limerics are often written about a person in a particular place.

Key features of Limerics KS2:
  • Limerics have a regular AABBA rhyming structure
  • The first line usually introduces the person and place
  • The place usually ends the first line and this then sets up the rhyme for lines 2 and 5
Example of a limeric KS2:

There was an old man from Nantucket

Who kept all his cash in a bucket;

But his daughter, named Nan

Ran away with a man -

And as for the bucket Nantucket.

Kennings Poems

Kennings are two word phrases. The two words are joined together with a hyphen and are usually created using a noun and a verb (e.g. spine-tingling, bone-chilling, life-giving, ear-piercing) or two nouns (e.g. book-worm, sky-scraper).

Kennings can be descriptive or metaphorical, which makes them perfect for poetry. Kennings phrases can be joined together to create effective poetry. In a kennings poem, each line is made up of two words joined using a hyphen.  The poem itself often takes the form of a riddle, so that the reader has to guess what is being described.

Key features of kennings poems:
  • Made up of two word phrases
  • Can be descriptive or metaphorical
  • Each line made up of two words joined using a hypen
  • Kennings poems take the form of a riddle so the reader must guess what is being described
Example of a kennings poem:

What am I?







(A bird)


A sonnet is a very technical form of poetry which can be traced back to the 13th century. Sonnets originated in Italy. The majority of students will first encounter sonnets when they study the works of Shakespeare.


Key features of Shakespeare's sonnets:
  • 14 lines of iambic pentameter
  • 3 quatrains and heroic couplet
  • They are narrative and usually strat with a problem leading up to a solution towards the end of the poem.

Performance Poetry KS2

As the name suggests, performance poetry is poetry that is intended to be read aloud and performed. Techniques used to enhance the performance of poetry, such as intonation, tone, tempo, and volume, can be employed effectively to develop meaning for the listener.

Key features of performance poetry KS2:
  • Any form of poetry can be used
  • Narrative poetry is great for performace as narrative poems are designed to be read aloud to an audience.
  • The performace of a poem can help the listener better understand and engage with it's content
  • The performer might chose to play around with intonation, tone, temo and volume

Narrative poetry KS2

Narrative poems are so called since they tell a story. They are written to be read aloud and are therefore great poems for children to perform.  

Key features of narrative poetry KS2:
  • Include alll the elements of a story such as characters, setting, conflict, dialogue, climax, resolution, etc.
  • Narrative poems use literary devices such as similes, metaphors and figurative language
  • Narrative poems often rhyme although not always
  • Designed to be read aloud
  • Tell a story