Lesson Activity: Free Verse Poems

This lesson can begin with a sample free verse poem followed by a review of characters in the book Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White. Follow this by having volunteer students record two rows of descriptive words for characters and setting as other students she these.  Students may refer to these as resource words as they write a poem inspired by one of the characters, and a second poem about the barnyard. The activity supports self expression as well as comprehension of vocabulary, poetry terms and character/setting.

Students will be given 20-30 minutes to write each poem. Each student will read their poems out loud unless they choose to have it read anonymously by swapping.

Terms to know:

Line: one word, phrase or sentence that has meaning

Stanza: lines that are grouped together (usually each has the same number of lines)

Rhyme scheme: patterns of a rhyme

Rhyme: repetition of sounds at the end or within lines

Free Verse style:

  • Written without rhyme or rhythm
  • Can be conversational as if you are talking with someone
  • Does not need punctuation or capitalization, or follow other rules of grammar
  • Consider senses when writing: smell, touch, sight, sound

Free verse poem samples link:


Grade: 5, ELA (English Language Arts) 

Formative Assessment:

Review terms by asking questions such as:

What do you call a pattern of rhyme? (rhyme scheme)

What are lines grouped together? (stanza)

Materials: notebooks/pencils or laptops

Core Standards:

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.5.3.D Use concrete words and phrases and sensory details to convey experiences and events precisely.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.5.4 Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development and organization are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience. (Grade-specific expectations for writing types are defined in standards 1-3 above.)

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.5.5 With guidance and support from peers and adults, develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach. (Editing for conventions should demonstrate command of Language standards 1-3 up to and including grade 5 here.)


Use knowledge of language and its conventions when writing, speaking, reading, or listening.

Time: (1-2) 45 minute class period



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *