Grade: all
Subject: Literature

#2345. Speed Poetry

Literature, level: all
Posted Tue Aug 21 10:25:45 PDT 2001 by Angie Watkins (
Newnan High School, Newnan, US
Materials Required: Strips of paper with random topics, each student has a piece of paper, and imagination
Activity Time: Depends on the number of students

After learning the different techniques in writing poetry, one fun lesson I do is called "Speed Poetry". Others may have done this before, as well. What I do is have students draw strips of paper that have random topics on them from a cup. The topics could be "a new CD", a favorite university team, "a new car", etc. Anything that would appeal to a teenager and that would stimulate thought. When I say "GO," the student begins to write the first thing that comes to mind. Only give them a short amount of time--tell them just to write the first thing that comes to their mind. I usually give them about 30 seconds--hence, the "speed". When I say "Switch", the students pass the paper to the person sitting behind him or her. The paper will eventually make its way around the room back to the original person. You'll get some really funny poetry and some very insightful poetry. Nevertheless, the students always enjoy it. Read the best ones aloud!