Ekphrastic Poetry: How to Write an Ekphrastic Poem (with mentor text)

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Grade Levels
7th - 12th, Homeschool
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Formats Included
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2 pages
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You will love writing ekphrastic poems with your students! Read on my blog about our experience with ekphrastic poetry (including the mini-lesson I created) by clicking here.

  • Ekphrastic poems observe and describe a student's favorite artwork... or really any artwork they feel inspired to write about.
  • This sheet explains the basics of how to write these poems with the funny name. (Btw, "ekphrasis" is from the Greek and means "to describe" in detail a work of art!)
  • This sheet contains four bulleted tips for writing an ekphrastic poem, plus two mentor texts.
    • One mentor text is actually a paragraph that illustrates the concept of kinetic language as a bonus for your more advanced students, and the other mentor is a short ekphrastic poem I wrote to describe a Frida Kahlo self-portrait.

You'll want to keep this handout near so you can treat your students often to a fun session of ekphrastic poetry! It also makes a great addition to your writer's workshop project list!

One more tip: Have your students search for quality images on Google Arts and Culture to safeguard against random internet art searches!

Total Pages
2 pages
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
50 minutes
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to see state-specific standards (only available in the US).
Use narrative techniques, such as dialogue, pacing, description, reflection, and multiple plot lines, to develop experiences, events, and/or characters.
Use precise words and phrases, telling details, and sensory language to convey a vivid picture of the experiences, events, setting, and/or characters.
Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
Write routinely over extended time frames (time for research, reflection, and revision) and shorter time frames (a single sitting or a day or two) for a range of tasks, purposes, and audiences.


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