Concrete Poetry: Lesson for Kids

Instructor: Jaclyn Radtke

I am a second grade teacher. I have been teaching second grade for two years. I previously taught fifth grade. I work in an urban school district. I am also interesting in drama and dance, which is why I am currently an assistant director of our after school for the arts program and co-director/choreographer of our school productions. I have a bachelors and a masters degree in elementary education.

There is a saying that poetry is an art. Using different types of language makes poetry an art, but one type of poetry connects art and writing. In this lesson you will learn how to write this type of poetry, known as a concrete poem.

What Is Concrete Poetry?

Concrete poetry is also known as shape poetry because words in the poem are arranged to look like the subject of the poem. This type of poetry uses images and words to get the message across to readers.

Concrete Poem Shaped Like a Mouse Tail
Concrete Poem Shaped Like a Tail

How to Write a Concrete Poem

Writing a concrete poem involves following a couple of steps:

1. The first thing you have to do is choose a topic. What subject do you know a lot about and are interested in. Maybe, if you are a basketball player you will choose basketball. You might really enjoy the beach; that is something you can write about as well.

2. Once you have a topic in mind, you need to decide which picture you would like to use to display your words. For example, if you choose the beach, you might make your words look like the ocean, a beach ball, or even a bottle of sunblock.

3. After you've decided what your poem will be about and what you want your readers to know, write your poem on a piece of paper. However, don't try to arrange your words to fit the image just yet. Keep in mind, this type of poetry can be written in any style and does NOT have to rhyme.

4. Once you have your words written down, you can arrange them to make them look like the image you have chosen. For example, if you chose to write about the beach and want to use an image of a beach ball, then your words can go around and around in a circular shape.

5. Finally, decide if you want to add color to your image and do so, but do not be overbearing with it. Your words and their arrangement should stand out all on their own. Too much color can hide the meaning of your poem.

Who Writes Concrete Poetry?

Concrete Poem With Sections That Are Shaped Like Wings
Example of a Concrete Poem

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