A great tool for teaching ESL students, as well as any young learner just developing their language skills, is through pattern poetry. Teaching writing using these types of poems can help students to learn a wide variety of skills, such as alphabetization, vocabulary, grammar, and composition. Here are some more pattern poems that can help English Language Arts teachers do their thing.
Wish poems bring out the inner thoughts of a young learner and can touch on their creative juices. They’re good for students of any age and the pattern is simple enough:
I wish… I was two feet taller.
I wish… my hair was curly.
I wish… my hands were bigger.
The hero poem is used to describe a person and includes written mental images and feelings. These types of poems can be used by the teacher to delve into the hopes and aspirations of the student.
Line 1 – The name of the person you admire.
Line 2 – Three adjectives to describe the person.
Line 3 – The name of a place, group or activity associated with the person.
Line 4 – Three action words for the person.
Line 5 – When or where these actions take place.
Line 6 – Thoughts or feelings about the person.
Talented, energetic, smart
An ultimate superstar
Singing, dancing, making waves
A senses poem describes an idea or emotion using each of the five senses. This type of pattern poem stimulates creative thought and gives practice in the use of similes. Here’s the pattern, followed by an example:
Line 1 – Tell what the idea or emotion is.
Line 2 – Tell what it tastes like.
Line 3 – Tell what it sounds like.
Line 4 – Tell what it smells like.
Line 5 – Tell what it looks like.
Line 6 – Tell what it feels like or how it makes you feel.
Sunday’s in Guatemala
Tasting my aunt’s cooking
Hearing the children playing outside
Smelling the aroma of the grilled scallions
Seeing the beautiful river below where we would swim
It brings me back to a happy place
These three types of poems are great for teaching valuable language development skills. Whether it’s teaching someone who’s just beginning to learn English or youngsters who are in the language development stage, theses pattern poems are good tools for a teacher. Stay tuned for more…
Holmes, Vicki. “Writing Poetry: Using pattern poems for Language Acquisition.” Unknown.