Middle School Poetry Unit: 60 Pages of Fun, Engaging Lessons

Reluctant Reader Books
Grade Levels
5th - 8th, Homeschool
Formats Included
  • PDF
60 pages
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Reluctant Reader Books


Our in-depth poetry unit is designed to be a simple, fun introduction to different poetic forms that appeal to middle school students, basic concepts such as rhythm and meter, and straightforward aspects of how to write poetry.

Not included here, you can also download our Free PDF of 77 Poems for Middle School, which includes a wide variety of poems that appeal to kids.

Our belief is that poetry should be fun for middle school kids. It should aim to make poetry accessible and engaging, and show middle schoolers that reading and writing poetry is something anyone -- including them -- can do.

Types of Poetry

This unit covers the following types of poetry for middle school: limericks, haiku, quatrains, cinquains, acrostics and bio poems.

For each type of poetry, the unit includes:

  • An introductory sheet explaining how the poem works
  • A First Lines worksheet which gives the students a variety of opening sentences they can start their own poems with
  • A poem worksheet for students to write their poems on

We've also included themed worksheets for certain types of poetry, such as a Fishing Haiku Worksheet, a Spring Haiku Worksheet, and Acrostic Worksheets for Winter, Autumn, Summer, Christmas, Halloween, etc.

Teaching Poetry

This unit explores both rhyme and meter in a simple, easy-to-understand manner. It includes two worksheets on Rhyme Scheme and two worksheets on identifying Syllables in words.

How to Write a Poem

This unit provides a basis for students to write their own poetry. It includes worksheets on Coming Up With Ideas which focus on students examining strong emotional experiences in their own lives as a starting point for discovering the ideas that matter most to them.

Also included are our Rules for a First Draft and Rules for Revision. These sheets offer no-nonsense guidance for students to help them through the writing process.

We've included a sheet on 10 Literary Devices to Spice Up Your Writing, which reminds students about various techniques such as alliteration, metaphor and hyperbole that they can utilize when writing their poems.

A Deeper Look

Finally, this unit includes a deeper dive into two classic poems: The Raven by Edgar Allan Poe, and Casey at the Bat by Ernest Lawrence Thayer.

Both poems are included in their entirety.

With each poem, we've included two types of lesson plans: Interrogating Characters, and Missing in Action.

Interrogating Characters asks students to look closer at a particular character in each poem, ask engaging questions about those characters, and write a more fleshed-out backstory for them.

Missing in Action asks students to consider each poem from the point of view of someone we don't hear from in the poem. In this case, we ask students to write from the perspective of Poe's lost love, Lenore, and the perspective of the pitcher who struck out the Mighty Casey.

Having Fun

Our belief is that poetry for middle school should be fun, entertaining, and occasionally should dive into the deep end. The best introduction to poetry for kids aims to make poetry more accessible and less daunting, showing students that they can be both intelligent readers and skillful writers of poetry.

With this unit, we believe students will have fun learning about poetry, about writing, and about themselves.

Total Pages
60 pages
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
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to see state-specific standards (only available in the US).
Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative and connotative meanings; analyze the impact of a specific word choice on meaning and tone.
Analyze how a particular sentence, chapter, scene, or stanza fits into the overall structure of a text and contributes to the development of the theme, setting, or plot.
Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative and connotative meanings; analyze the impact of rhymes and other repetitions of sounds (e.g., alliteration) on a specific verse or stanza of a poem or section of a story or drama.
Analyze how a drama’s or poem’s form or structure (e.g., soliloquy, sonnet) contributes to its meaning.
Determine a theme or central idea of a text and analyze its development over the course of the text, including its relationship to the characters, setting, and plot; provide an objective summary of the text.


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