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Introduction to Poetry
Grade Level(s): 6-8
By: Lauren Garcia, 8th Grade Teacher

I use this activity as an introduction to poetry. Music is a wonderful medium to helping students appreciate poetry and poetic devices.


I made a tape with 1 minute snippets from different genres of music ( country, rap, R&B, reggae, top 40, etc...).


  1. Ask students to brainstorm the following questions:
    • What do music and poetry have in common?
    • Do you think music is poetry? Why?
  2. Tell students that they will listen to several different types of music and to have an open mind. Explain to your students that music, like poetry can be a window to the mind and that it's a wonderful form of expression.
  3. Play each 1 minute piece of music (pause after each selection). Student will write what they thought of the piece, did it remind them of anyone or thing. Do this for all selections. (I usually do between 8 - 10)
  4. When you are finished, discuss the songs and what the students wrote down. Have your students circle one song as their favorite and tell you why.
  5. When you're finished with this activity, students are usually excited about diving into poetry.


This is a great activity because it helps students see a connection between their world and the world of poetry. Because I teach Reading and not Language Arts, I usually keep my poetry unit fairly simple. I work with music quite frequently and have them look for figurative language and imagery. That's a great extension of the introductory activity.


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