Young American Poetry Digest

Poetry Resources

Poetry provides a means for students to express themselves and to develop their creative talents. This year we are highlighting Haiku poetry as one of the most creative poetry forms and one that is well suited for elementary students.

Haiku – first developed in Japan in the sixteenth century, a haiku is composed of three unrhymed lines of five, seven, and five syllables. Typically this imagery-rich poem reflects on some aspect of nature.


The list below presents some of the more common poetry types with a short description of each and a link to more teaching resources. 

Acrostic – the first letters of each line in an acrostic poem are aligned vertically to form a word which is the subject of the poem.

Cinquain – consists of 5 lines with the first line a noun, the second line 2 adjectives describing the noun, the third line consisting of 3 words about the noun, the fourth line a 4 word sentence, and the last line a synonym.

Diamante – shaped like a diamond, a diamante consists of 7 lines with a prescribed structure for each line.

Tanka – a form of Japanese poetry that consists of 31 syllables (5-7-5-7-7). Tanka poems usually focus on  topics such as love, nature, seasons, and friendships.

Rhyming – couplets, triplets and quatrains are examples of rhyming poems. Couplets are two lines whose last words rhyme. Triplets have 3 lines with either an AAA or ABA rhyming pattern, and quatrains have four lines with AABB or ABAB rhyming patterns.