Experimenting with Poetry Unit Plan - Year 5 and Year 6

Teach Starter Publishing
13 x lessons | Suitable for stages: 5 - 6

This English unit addresses the common elements of poetry and explores how these may be applied to shape poems, limericks, odes and simple ballads.

It consists of 12 lessons of approximately 60 minutes duration.

The sequence of lessons and suggested time frames should be regarded as a guide only; teachers should pace lessons in accordance with the individual learning needs of their class.

An assessment task for monitoring student understanding of the unit objectives is included and will require an additional lesson.


  • To develop an understanding of what constitutes poetry.
  • To explore the students' preconceived ideas and attitudes towards poetry.
  • To explore the common elements found in poetry.
  • To identify and investigate structure, rhyme and rhythm in poetry.
  • To identify and investigate sound devices in poetry.
  • To identify and investigate figurative language in poetry.
  • To explore some commonly used idioms.
  • To explore some well-known and commonly used forms of fixed verse.
  • To plan and write a shape poem.
  • To plan and write a limerick.
  • To plan and write an ode.
  • To plan and write a simple ballad.
  • To demonstrate an understanding of the elements of poetry by writing an ode and a ballad.

Preparing for Learning

Prior to commencing the unit, develop a poetry wall in the classroom. Display examples of a variety of poems, including annotated texts, to stimulate the students’ interest and assist in their learning throughout the unit. For examples of teaching resources to display in your classroom, browse the Poetry collection on the Teach Starter website.

Expose the students to a range of poetry before and during the unit. Encourage the students to share the poems they enjoy with the class and add these to a classroom display. Look for and identify the elements of poetry in picture books, songs and other narrative texts.

Some of the resources which accompany this unit plan will need to be prepared prior to teaching. For this reason, it is advised that teachers browse through all lessons before commencing the unit.



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