Free-Verse Poems for Kids

Michele Meleen
Child writing poem

Creative kids who don't want to be restricted by writing rules and regulations can celebrate free verse poetry. You don't need to rhyme or follow a meter, but you do want to create an emotional poem that captures the spirit of your subject.

Examples of Free Verse Poem

Free verse poetry for kids usually features a common childhood experience captured in a few descriptive words. When teaching poetry, this can be a simple and approachable form to start with.

Get in the Game

Click. Beep.
Hum.

Loading, loading,
Loading, loading, done.

Pressing buttons,
energy high.
My avatar is ready.

Here we go,
get in the game
I am not me,
Finally free!

Run.
Jump.
Gather.
Build.
Win.
Game over.

Bedtime Blues

"Bedtime dear."
The sound of doom.
Bedtime blues.

Up,
Up,
Up.
Swish,
Brush,
Spit.
Change.
Plop.

Bedtime blues
fade to black.

Tag

Tag poem

"Tag!
You're it!"
Panic,
"No!"

Running,
Screaming,
Swatting,
Smack!

Redemption.
Run, run, run!
Breath. Runs. Out.

"Tag!
You're it!"
Not again.

The Playground

Where to go,
where to start?

Sit and kick.
Back forth back forth.
Climbing higher,
Higher,
Higher,
Toes touching the sky!

Muster courage,
Now?
Now?
Now, jump!

Up steps,
Down slide,
Speeding for a second.

Jump up,
Grab the bar.
Left hand, right hand, left hand, right hand,
Left hand.
Right hand.
Done!

Write Your Own Free Verse Poem

Free verse poems can be long or short, sad or happy, and about anything you can imagine. This form of poetry is meant for the writer to express himself without any limitations. That means there's really no wrong way to write a free verse poem.

Choose a Subject

Your subject is what the poem is about. This can be a feeling, a situation, a noun, or a verb. Pick something you have strong emotions about, and it will be easier to write the poem. Once you've chosen a subject, use that to decide the tone of your piece. For example, if you decide to write about skateboarding, the tone would be fast and maybe even a little scary. Try to make sure all your words and lines fit this tone so your poem really gives readers an idea of what skateboarding feels like.

Write in Sentences

Start by writing two to five sentences about your subject. A shorter poem might start as one sentence that gets broken down into several lines. A longer poem could combine several sentences. Your final poem will include one or more sentences, but they will be broken up across the lines.

Brainstorm Descriptive Words

Think about all your senses and how they are engaged when you are at the place in your sentences or doing the activity they describe. Write down as many descriptive words as you can think of that would help a reader feel the same way.

Break the Sentences

Take your first sentence and write it so only a couple words are on each line. Look at this sentence and see if there are some words you can completely remove or replace with the descriptive words you brainstormed. Move the pieces of this sentence around horizontally and vertically until you have the beginning of a meaningful poem. Do the same thing with your other original sentences.

Finalize Your Poem

Read the entire poem out loud. Are there places that sound funky or boring? Try to add or subtract words in these spots to make the poem flow better. Read your final poem out loud one more time. Does it give you the feeling you want readers to have? When it does, then your poem is complete.

Be Free With Words

A free verse poem is usually more lyrical than rhythmic, meaning it sounds beautiful but doesn't follow a beat. Using imagination and creativity anyone can enjoy this freeing form of children's poetry.

Free-Verse Poems for Kids