Poetry: Pictures paint a thousand words

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By Nina Filipekfreelance education writer

Use a range of images to stimulate children’s enthusiasm for poetry writing

Two giraffes

Online extra!

Don’t forget to download the Interactive resource, ‘Multimedia poetry’ which includes images and sounds perfect for inspiring poetry writing.


  1. The zoo
  2. Faces
  3. The seasons
  4. Transport

1 The zoo

  • Ask groups or pairs of children to choose an animal, find images of it and research relevant information. Thinking about what it looks like, how it moves, what it eats and where it lives, they should write a list of as many words as they can think of associated with their animal. Show them how to group the words in their list in various ways (adjectives, verbs or adverbs for example). Have they thought of any rhyming words? Are any of their words alliterations? Now challenge the children to write a simple four-line poem about their animal, using the words from their list. The following example can serve as a model:

Creepy, crinkly crocodile,

Like an armoured ship,

Sails across his private swamp

Where no one dares to dip!
  • Point out the alliterations in the poem: creepy, crinkly, crocodile; ship, sails, swamp; dares, dip. Talk about the use of the simile: ‘like an armoured ship’. Can the children think of a different simile or a simile for their animal poem? Have they spotted any rhyming words in the poem? You could ask one group to complete this second verse:

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