Poetry is a powerful way to engage middle school students in critical thinking and writing. I offer you my three best structures – word poems, Tang Dynasty poems and free-form poems - for getting young people to write good poetry. I’ve included models, simple instructions and prompts. I’ve also added a cooperative learning activity that allows students to share their work in a structured manner and a poster assignment that encourages them to evaluate what they have written. P.S. I've added some free pages to supplement this unit: More Word Poems and Poems for Choral reading. Don't miss them!