Heidi Reina, M.S., Ed, is an educational technology integrator and teacher, reviewing free educational websites and apps.
Interactive Tools Help Students With the Craft of Writing Poems
I love to read my students' poems, and these interactives and poetry collections provide them inspiration and guidance. I've seen sparks of creativity fly for children and teens alike. The collections of poems on these websites include classic favorites as well as works by contemporary authors AND kids.
Although they are enthusiastic, my students sometimes find writing verse to be a challenge. They struggle with choosing just the right word. Or they are unsure if they had the right form. How do you write a haiku? How about an acrostic or a limerick?
What These Sites Offer
That's where these writing tools and examples help. Many of them have forms, tips, and scaffolding. A few even give your kids the opportunity to submit their finished works of poetic art for online publication. As an added bonus, many of the sites also have lesson plans for teachers.
- ReadWriteThink Poetry Interactives
- RhymeZone's Rhyming Dictionary
- Poetry 180
- Writing With Writers: Poetry
- Haiku Poem Interactive
- Curriculum Pathways Poetry Lessons
- Poetry Foundation
- Teen Ink
1. ReadWriteThink Poetry Interactives
ReadWriteThink is one of the foremost websites in providing online reading and writing activities for students and lesson plan ideas for teachers. They have several interactives and an app kids can use to wax poetic.
Each interactive is accompanied by lesson plan ideas for students at various grade levels. Be sure to print or copy each completed poetic masterpiece! Not all of them can be saved online.
The interactives described below provide step-by-step instructions for creating word mover, acrostic, diamante, letter, riddle, and shape writing poems.
Word Mover Interactive
The Word Mover interactive invites kids to verse by manipulating word tiles. Students can add their own word tiles, choose backgrounds, and share their poems by email.
Acrostic Poem Interactive
The Acrostic Poem interactive provides a form where you pick your main word, then write words that start with the letters of the main word. After you brainstorm your acrostic words, you type in the ones that best describe your main word. The interactive will suggest other words when you point at a letter in the main word. You can then print your work or go back and make changes.
Diamante Poem Interactive
Using the Diamante Poem interactive, kids create verse in the shape of a diamond. They select a central theme, then use adjectives, -ing verbs, and nouns to "paint" the theme. The interactive has examples to guide the poet. There are also pop-ups on the fill-in-the-blank diamante form to help guide the student through the parts of speech that make up this form.
Letter Poem Creator
Letter Poem Creator is designed for students in grades 3–5. Using the example in the interactive, students insert line breaks, thus turning narrative into verse. The model explains the process of breaking a letter into ideas and stanzas.
Riddle Poem Interactive
Middle school kids in grades 6–8 can "riddle me this" poetically. The Riddle Poem interactive helps students to make use of simile, metaphor, and metonymy. Students design a riddle around an answer, such as a door or grass. They brainstorm words associated with the answer, their synonyms, and their antonyms. The best riddles use as many of the senses as possible.
Shape Theme Poems Interactive
The Shape Theme Poems interactive was designed to help elementary students gel thoughts based on a theme, then write a poem in a related shape (for example, a poem about apples in the shape of an apple). This interactive tool provides 32 different shapes around such themes as sports, nature, and school to spur creativity.
JogLab's Word Finder is a great tool to jog kids' memories for associated words to use in specific types of poems. The poems emphasized on this site include acrostics, mnemonics, and backronyms. (What's a backronym? JogLab explains all.)
The site is loaded with examples for students to riff on. From the list of words "joggled," kids can order them by noun, verb, adjective, etc. Then they select words for their hot list of favorites for the poem they are creating.
It's best suited for students in grades 3–12. See the demo in the video above.
3. RhymeZone's Rhyming Dictionary
RhymeZone's Rhyming Dictionary helps kids in their struggle to find words that express their feelings and ideas. It goes well beyond helping kids to find rhyming words. Use it to find synonyms and antonyms, as well as words with similar sounds or consonants (alliteration). You can even see where Shakespeare has used your word in his works. RhymeZone also has dictionary definitions, homophones, and letter matching
Other resources on this site include the works of Shakespeare, Mother Goose poems, a poetry forum, and several vocabulary games—lots of goodies for young and old poetry lovers.
4. Poetry 180
Poetry 180 provides schools, classrooms, and homeschooled teens an opportunity to listen to poems by popular contemporary poets. This site is designed for pure enjoyment; there's no need to analyze or write about the poems. One poem a day is typically read as part of morning or afternoon announcements.
Each poem is accompanied by a brief bio of the author, the background of the poem, and a link to more detailed information about the author's work.
Billy Collins, U.S. Poet Laureate from 2001–2003, is the host of this series that resides on the Library of Congress website. He provides guidance on how to use the poems and an example of how to read one that is particularly helpful.
5. Writing With Writers: Poetry
Spend some time with writers of children's poetry at Scholastic's Writing With Writers: Poetry. Three well-known poets discuss samples of their work and give kids advice on their own poetry writing. You'll also find guidance for publishing your kids' poems in the lesson planning resources for teachers and homeschool parents.
Watch Jack Prelutsky, Children's Poet Laureate, as he waxes poetic with a selection of his works. Karla Kushin offers kids in grades 4–8 her poetry writing and revising tips. Jean Marzollo, the writer of the well-known "I Spy" riddles, offers guidance and tips to help kids create their own riddles. And K–12 students have the opportunity to publish their poems to this site.
Try the interactive Poetry Idea Engine to create and print a limerick, haiku, cinquain, or free verse.
Shel Silverstein's Official Site for Kids is all about the fun of Shel Silverstein. Every child I know has been captivated and amused by the off-kilter poetic sense of Silverstein and his equally oddball illustrations. His website is very much in the same vein. The audio on the site helps you to fully appreciate and play along with his poetic hijinks.
7. Haiku Poem Interactive
Haiku Poem Interactive is a relatively new addition to the ReadWriteThink family of student interactives. It explains the 5-7-5 syllable pattern and the significance of an "Aha!" moment, and it offers suggestions for getting inspired. Students brainstorm a list of eight words and their syllable counts, then use those words as a kicking-off point for their poem. The interactive does not hold them to the strict 5-7-5 pattern.
Once a child completes her poem, she can change the font style, background image, and position of the poem and the page to get the effect she wants. Poems can be printed or saved for later use.
As with their other materials, ReadWriteThink includes lesson plans that make use of the interactive.
Poetry4Kids.com is home to the works of Kenn Nesbitt, Children's Poet Laureate, and it is a poetry playground. Kids read and rate the poems on this website. You'll see funny ones, the newest ones, and the most popular ones. There are lessons on writing funny poems, including clerihews and exaggeration poems. And there's a simple rhyming dictionary.
If you register (for free), you can enter poetry contests, participate in a poetry forum, and even keep a poetry journal.
9. Curriculum Pathways Poetry Lessons
In these activities geared to students in grades 6–12, Curriculum Pathways Poetry Resources provides lessons to engage students in analyzing different types of poetry. Students learn poetry-reading strategies on themes in nature, sports, families, and the great poems of English literature.
Teachers can adjust the lessons to meet the needs of the students. Free registration is required for teachers and students. This is also an excellent resource for homeschoolers.
10. Poetry Foundation
Get some inspiration for a video creation from the beautiful selection on the Poetry Foundation website. In addition to the video collection, there are interviews with well-known poets, including the Children's Poet Laureate.
Among their other resources is a Poetry Tool, where you can browse through a selection by age group or category. Teachers and homeschooling parents will find lesson plan ideas in their Learning Lab resources.
The POETRY App
Take your poetry on the go with the Poetry Foundation's free POETRY app for iPhone, iPad, and Android devices. Browse by category, or search by poet or a line of poetry. Or give your device a shake to discover a random new poem.
11. Teen Ink
Teen Ink offers teenagers a forum and showplace for the poetic works they write. Teens submit their original works, and their peers vote on the pieces they like most. The most popular poems posted by teens are showcased on the website.
There's also a forum for teens to get feedback on their poetry and share their ideas. Additionally, Teen Ink offers similar opportunities for teens who write fiction and non-fiction stories.
Poets.org has extensive educational resources for high school teachers to use with students. There are curriculum and lesson plan ideas, a teacher discussion forum, essays, and tips on teaching poetry. There is also an anthology of poems to share with students.
"Crocodile's Toothache" by Shel Silverstein
"These Are the Hands" by Michael Rosen, British Children's Poet Laureate
Have you tried writing poetry using interactive poetry sites? Or do you teach with them?
Deep Gambhir,Odisha,India on August 26, 2020:
Thanks !! Great ideas
Yvonne Dushime on August 07, 2020:
i love poetry.Since i can communicate through writing it.And this website looks interesting
Shreya's poetry on April 28, 2020:
This was really informative and helpful.Check out my poetry blog here
It is a must visit for all poetry lovers.
nancy on November 28, 2018:
amazing thank you and very informative!
TISHA on August 17, 2016:
Heidi Reina (author) from USA on April 13, 2015:
The interactives and apps described above on ReadWriteThink (#1 on the list) are games that provide scaffolding for kids writing poetry. Poetry Splatter (#7 on the list) does much the same. My students have particularly enjoyed ReadWriteThink's haiku interactive.
Elijah on April 13, 2015:
are their games on this website ?
Janis on September 17, 2014:
I run a site with rhyming dictionary and other tools for creative writing. Here is link http://www.rhymedesk.com
I hope this site might become a fun and educational resource for kids who want to compose their own poems. If you have a spare minute, please, check it out.
Heidi Vincent from GRENADA on April 22, 2014:
lravidlearner, this is an excellent collection of poetry websites for children! Your little write up on each gives a good idea of how each differs from the other. Thanks for sharing these resources.
Nithya Venkat aka Vellur from Dubai on October 09, 2013:
I love reading and writing poems. Thank you for sharing this extensive an very useful list. Great lens and thumbs up. I have not yet used interactive sites for poetry.
SteveKaye on June 15, 2013:
Actually, I write poems while writing in my journal. They just appear while I'm lost in the space of free thinking.
I suspect that children find it easier to write poetry than adults because they (children) don't know they can't.
blessedmomto7 on May 25, 2013:
Thanks for all the info on poetry sites. It will come in handy for homeschooling next year.
kathysart on April 01, 2013:
I have never tried interactive sites to write my poetry. So funny cause I didn't even know they existed. Wow I will have to check them out. I so appreciate your lens most especially directed towards children writing poetry. It is such a blessing to the human spirit to do anything creative.
anonymous on March 27, 2013:
Thanks for these great resources for Poetry Month!
Margot_C on February 24, 2013:
Wow, another great resource! I love poetry and can still remember poems I memorized as a kid. I only wish I was better at writing them. Thanks for all the legwork.
anonymous on January 13, 2013:
Poetry for children, I love it!
neotony on December 09, 2012:
no but i'm so glad to have this resource available.
mistaben on December 07, 2012:
Helpful poetry resources for children =)
John Dyhouse from UK on November 27, 2012:
Some of these seem like fun, I might well try one or two myself when I need a little inspiration
anonymous on October 21, 2012:
Great resource, it is very interesting :)
nicewriter lm on August 12, 2012:
i just write poetry on paper.
sentanta lm on August 10, 2012:
I read this lens just to make sure Shel Silverstein was here. He was a big part of my childhood, and I remember being really sad when I heard he had passed.
anonymous on July 29, 2012:
Returning with fresh angel dust for this 2010 LotD winning resource.
jazziyarbrough on May 30, 2012:
Have not tried either, but thanks to your wonderful lens I am going to try it! Thank you so much for sharing, lovely idea and excellent post.
Storytutor on May 29, 2012:
So fun! Love the Rhymezone Dictionary and what IS one dentist more or less?!
WritingForChange on May 27, 2012:
Great resource. I'm a homeschooling mom working on writing poetry right now. Will definitely be referring to the sites on this list. Liked and shared!
amberchina on May 23, 2012:
I've been a "techy" writing teacher for 3 years--how did I not know about all these cool sites?! Thanks so much for the education. :) I just featured your lens on my "The Best Summer Learning Activities and Projects by Subject" lens.
JoyfulReviewer on April 24, 2012:
Thanks for compiling this unique and informative lens ... full of helpful resources. ~~Blessed~~
seopintar on March 30, 2012:
how long you made this lens with various source? I think I can make in in a month works
dahlia369 on March 17, 2012:
Great collection of resources, very helpful!! :)
Edutopia on February 12, 2012:
Great topic! Whatever helps fuel interests in literature and literacy in kids is something we should promote at all costs.
earthybirthymum from Ontario, Canada on January 29, 2012:
Great lense! I'll be back later to access some of the resources you suggested.
waldenthreenet on January 20, 2012:
Is poetry a way of story telling for kids--poetry out loud ? Congrads on your Squidoo level 56. Am going for next level. Will visit again soon. Thanks.
Adele Jeunette on January 11, 2012:
Thanks for putting this together. I teach creative writing for kids at a library, but don't have enough computers to use interactive poetry sites :-(
But I hope to adapt some of these on paper.
anonymous on December 18, 2011:
Well I've tried writing poetry so much! And I'm good at it :-). My friends and my teachers appreciate my poetry.
Buchamar on December 14, 2011:
Great Topic and strategies! Thank you!
Lee Nitus on December 10, 2011:
I have not.. but this is an excellent poetry for kids page!
Tamara14 on December 10, 2011:
This is just beautiful lens and a very good topic. If only my 9 year old daughter knew English more than she does :) Blessed by a SquidAngel!
baby-strollers on December 07, 2011:
Love the rosen poetry, just fantastic.
Anderotin on November 18, 2011:
I also write children's poetry, but do not dare to publish them.
desa999 lm on November 04, 2011:
I did some teaching in high schools and some classes really enjoyed writing their own poems as well as reading them. Nice lens withsome great material
sunsetsunrise lm on November 03, 2011:
I didn't even know there were poetry websites for kids...how cool!
HuntAndFishGuides on November 03, 2011:
Great list! I will definitely check out the giggle poetry site with my kiddo after he gets home from school. :)
garyrh1 on November 01, 2011:
These are some great links. I've been searching for poetry related stuff for years and haven't seen some of these. Great job.
waldenthreenet on October 29, 2011:
I just learned about this lens. There is a lot of information here but I love your basic premise on inspiring kids to write poetry. I just did a lens on my shortend version of favorite poets. I write a few poems frm time to time. But they come from within me and inspired by a vast amount of knowledge I have accumulated from reading poetry of those who inspire me. SO that tehcnique may be good fit for some kids, ie, be inspired by those few you learn to admire. Focus on emotion and person rather than be driven by technique. Topic 02: Poetry reading loud is an art that we have lost in America for some reason. We need to inspire kids to be great poetry dramatists like those who exist in the Russian Culture and French Culture for example. So is poetry recitation is worthwhile topic with support from not only teachers but also community ? THis can be done easy enough once a decision is made, that yes, poetry reading out loud is a valueable skill, not only for poets but also for those who go into theater and drama, reading other people's poems, perhaps a fellow student, or from a poet one admires from history. Comments ?
anonymous on October 16, 2011:
Wow!! Thanks for writing on this topic. I have never used any site to write poems...I used to write poems when I was in my teens!! It was a favorite hobby of mine :)
I haven't written poems for a while now...will definitely brush up on my poetry writing skills!!
diaperbagdiva lm on October 13, 2011:
I went through this with my son and participated in some of the posted activities. Awesome lens!
Kim from Yonkers, NY on October 10, 2011:
Added as Featured Lenses to Epic Ballad of Poetry (just realised It was only in a links section)
franstan lm on September 29, 2011:
This is a fantastic collection of poetry sites for kids. Congratulations and Blessed
Frankie Kangas from California on September 24, 2011:
Wow. I wish they had all this fun stuff when I was in grade school. I was horrible at writing poetry. Thanks for sharing. Blessed. Bear hugs, Frankster
kimmanleyort on September 16, 2011:
No, I haven't but this is a great resources for anyone and especially kids. Wonderful and blessed.
CruiseReady from East Central Florida on September 13, 2011:
No, I haven't, but I can see that these would be very useful indeed! Love the crocodile toothache video!
Patricia on September 12, 2011:
Cool resource! I have been to the Shel Silverstein one. It's cool! Blessed by the poetry angel!
anonymous on August 08, 2011:
Poetry is wonderful vehicle of expression!!
TeacherRenee on July 15, 2011:
You have such a wonderful list of resources here, I just emailed a link to this lens to all my former kindergarten teaching colleagues. Thanks for sharing.
decaf95 on July 08, 2011:
it can show kids an interset in poetry
Tracy Gibb on July 05, 2011:
What a great resource for teaching kids about poetry!
WorldVisionary3 on April 24, 2011:
I love poetry and so do my daughters. Great lens!
bestkidsfun on April 16, 2011:
Nice educational information for kids. Well done.
Philippians468 on April 12, 2011:
poetry is amazing for children to help them express themselves creatively! cheers
JeanJohnson LM on March 06, 2011:
ive written a lot of poetry through the years, it's nice to know there are an abundant of sites to visit. the one i used as a teenager is no longer a website, wish i could find it for my old poems. thanks for this lens
pacrapacma lm on March 05, 2011:
My nine year old son shows some talent with writing poetry and likes to read funny poetry. He has two younger siblings. We haven't found the time to explore poetry writing like we should. I think he'd love it and be good at it. I voted for one site, Welcome to PS4K. Kid poems and stories can be submitted and voted on. I added your plexo to my recent LOTD lens, Reading Starts at Home. I hope more people vote and check out your sites.
I haven't even touched the surface of the valuable information you've shared on this lens. My son and I will be back!
anonymous on February 06, 2011:
I will make it a point to visit these gorgeous websites, they are good even for grownups. Thumbs up.
suzyjahi on February 06, 2011:
no but I love poetry
anonymous on February 03, 2011:
No..not yet...honestly I never knew about interactive poetry site...not until I read your lens
blujeanmomma from Rocky Mountains on January 30, 2011:
I wish that teachers in years past would have made learning fun as you are showing on your lens. I was brought up with the recite, recite, recite and it wasn't until I was out of school that I started to appreciate poetry.
Fun lens and I'll have have to check out a few of your resources (you have a great extensive list)
LoKackl on January 29, 2011:
This is a fun site and what a great idea! Nice to meet you - now I'm one of your fans, too! Rolling with pleasure to http://www.squidoo.com/emily-dickinson-childrens-s...
xenoc on January 25, 2011:
great lens i enjoyed reading it
Nancy Carol Brown Hardin from Las Vegas, NV on January 24, 2011:
Shel Silverstein is one of my favorites. My kids and grandkids love poetry because they grew up with it. I really enjoyed this lens.
kimark421 on January 20, 2011:
Super lens. I love Shel Silverstein. Then again, who doesn't? Thanks for the great links.
pastakare on January 17, 2011:
BrandonJames926 on January 12, 2011:
Great lens...I just put together one about Shel Silverstein the other day!
HubLens Admin on November 11, 2010:
Not yet, but will check them out. Amazing lens! Many great resources about poetry for kids. Thans for sharing.
anonymous on August 24, 2010:
I have a website to help inspire kids to write poetry, www.joe-sottile.com
christian-book-man on May 24, 2010:
Great Job on your lens ! Now I know where to look when my kid needs another poem to recite in school !
lasertek lm on May 21, 2010:
I have never really tried wiring poetry using interactive sites. I could give it a try though. This lens convinced me.
anonymous on May 19, 2010:
No but what a great idea. Poetry seems to be a lost art these days. Thanks for the great lens
Jeanette from Australia on May 18, 2010:
What a fabulous resource. I'll be coming back here again for sure! Congratulations on LotD.
anonymous on May 18, 2010:
Very innovative lens for all poetry lovers.I like poetry.You have provided lots of interesting sites to keep in touch with poetry.
MyFairLadyah2 on May 18, 2010:
Kids are young; they soak up much
Why not poetry have them clutch?
Congrats on LOTD
anonymous on May 18, 2010:
What a wonderful lens to visit and find resources for children. Congratulations on LOTD!
Virginia Allain from Central Florida on May 18, 2010:
I've used the instant poetry forms and it's very gratifying to see the results. Great topic. I'll tell my friends with children about it.
JoyfulPamela2 from Pennsylvania, USA on May 18, 2010:
These look fun! I'll try them out with the children. Thank you and congratulations on LOTD!
Nikki-Cheeks on May 18, 2010:
NEVER and now I'm going to...oh but of course, with my daughters ; )
Congrats on the Lens of the Day ! And Shel is my true fave, thanx or including him : )
anonymous on May 18, 2010:
My son loves poetry, and he's quite the rhyming poet already. Thanks for this useful lens of poetry sites. Congrats on LotD!
stacy mcdaniel on May 18, 2010:
Congratulations on lens of the day. I love the riddle poems. I remember them from when I was a kid. Fun Lens!
myraggededge on May 18, 2010:
Congratulations on Lens of the Day
Now we're looking at poetry in a brand new way.
Your page is great - a cut above the rest...
So by a Squid Angel you've been blessed!
Lee Hansen from Vermont on May 18, 2010:
Anything that gets kids writing, reading and being creative gets high marks from me. One of the most popular sections on my web sites is the "shape papers with lines" section. My daughter loved Shel Silverstein - me, I'm a spoken word groupie from Cambridge/Boston ... I love poetry, performance or written.
Emily Tack from USA on April 20, 2010:
No, I cannot say that I have, but have written hundreds of poems - usually, unintentionally. Once you get started, it is hard to stop. Some of my grandchildren will love this! Terrific job!
Rusty Quill on March 28, 2010:
Great lens - I love the giggle poetry from Meadowbrook (I actually applied for a job there out of collage, but alas no luck :) ) and thanks for submitting some lenses to Review Central - I'll certainly add a category for educational kids site reviews.
Mary Beth Granger from O'Fallon, Missouri, USA on August 22, 2009:
These sites look great. This is a wonderful gathering of resources. Thank you for your testimony on In2Books on my Mentoring Children lens Last year was my first year with In2Books and I'm looking forward to this years pen pal.
junebugco on June 06, 2009:
Thanks to poetry I have found a use for the dangling modifyer.
KimGiancaterino on May 31, 2009:
My step-son needed help with a Haiku recently. His teacher had given the wrong formula in the homework instructions, but we found help online. Excellent resource... Squid Angel Blessed.
AlexandraHubbard on May 21, 2009:
what a nice lens! As a future teacher, I think this is so useful! 5* from me!
anonymous on April 23, 2009:
Cool sites for children.
Thanks for sharing
The kids smiles spread
And so dose the atmosphere
They make the world spin
tandemonimom lm on April 03, 2009:
Great page - I love poetry, and need to "do" it more with my kids. 5*
anonymous on February 26, 2009:
little miss bread
fell on her head
she couldn't see anything after
she went to see a nurse
the nurse brought up a hearse
and little miss bread was dead
that was my poem! i hope u liked it!
teenadvocate on November 29, 2008:
Great resouce. I will be teaching poetry in the Spring and I will definitely use some of your links.
GrowWear on October 17, 2008:
Excellent resource. My grandson (8) is learning about -- and liking -- poetry, so he'll be trekking over here with me next time! 5*Fav
anonymous on October 17, 2008:
What a brilliant resource - my daughter likes to write poems. Thank you! We will be back!