Narrative Poetry Activities

Instructor: Christopher Muscato

Chris has a master's degree in history and teaches at the University of Northern Colorado.

Narrative poems can be a lot of fun for all students. These activities will provide several options for implementing narrative poetry into your classroom, no matter how interested in poetry students may or may not be.

Narrative Poems

For students who aren't naturally inclined towards poetry, one of the obstacles can be determining the meaning of abstract poems. To help students feel more comfortable with poetry, narrative poems are a great option as they tell a story and are generally easier to connect to. Of course, even students who excel at poetry usually find narrative poetry to be engaging and stimulating. The following activities are designed to be adaptable to most classrooms and skill levels and can help your students build an appreciation for narrative poetry.

Narrative Poetry Activities

Dramatic Recitation

Divide the class into small groups. Assign each group a narrative poem. In their groups, students are going to plan and rehearse a recitation and dramatization of the poem. One student will be the reader, who will recite the poem with not only a sense of cadence and rhythm but also the appropriate emotions for this poem. The other students will act out the events of the narrative poem as the reader recites it.

  • Materials: Copies of narrative poems

Fill-In-The-Blank Poem

Divide the class into pairs and distribute poems. Each student should have a different poem from their partner. Each student will look through their poem and cross out ten words. They will then use their partners to fill in these blanks, Mad-Libs style. To maintain the structure of the poem, students may have to go beyond ''give me a noun'' and create prompts like ''give me a noun that rhymes with (word from the previous line)''. Using this method, students will fill in the blanks and then read their poems to each other, seeing how they've changed in meaning.

  • Materials: Narrative poems, writing supplies

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