Starting a poetry unit writing couplets will give students confidence in their poetry writing. In addition, writing couplets can be quite fun. Students will only need paper, pencil, colored pencils, markers and creative thoughts to complete the activities. First, they need to know what a couplet is.
What is a Couplet?
Couplets are two lines of poetry that become a stanza in poetry. Stanzas are like “paragraphs” in poetry. These two lines can be part of a longer poem or the couplet can stand alone as a short poem. Couplets many times rhyme; however, they do not have to rhyme. The two lines in the couplet can have the same rhythm pattern or meter and complete a thought.
The length of the lines in a couplet can vary. For the more advanced student, try heroic couplets. Heroic couplets use iambic pentameter. Iambic pentameter is basically when there are 10 syllables in each line. The even numbered syllables are all stressed, or each second beat in the line is stressed. The reader will hear “da DUM” in the rhythm. Each unstressed and stressed pair become a foot or iamb. Chaucer used this form in his classic Canterbury Tales.
Steps to Writing Two Lines Poetry
Students will write a couplet. Give them the following directions:
Step 1 –Choose a favorite color.
Step 2 – Brainstorm items in your life that are silly, things that make you laugh, and/or activities that you enjoy.
- muddy puddles
- rolling down a hill
- cartwheels tickling
Step 3 – Now, write a two line poem, using rhyming couplets.
Rolling breakneck down a slimey, green hill
Grass tickles, the puddle awaits my spill
Step 4 – Write the couplet neatly on a piece of white paper. Illustrate the poem. Ask students to share their poems and then post them in the classroom. The student artwork and couplets will brighten any classroom.
Add your best or silly couplets to the comment section.
This post is part of the series: Poetry Stanza Lessons
These poetry lessons all focus on a type of stanza in poetry. The activities can be introductory lessons or made into a small unit of study.