Readwritethink.org has lots of great ideas for teachers, parents and daycare providers and lots of great online templates for kids to use. One of my favorites is the Shape Poems, especially for younger children - maybe 1st through 3rd or 4th grade. There are 4 categories of shapes to choose from, Nature, School, Sports and Celebrations. This is just enough for young kids to enjoy choosing but not so many as to be overwhelming. I like readwritethink's format because it allows for a little bit of brainstorming before the "writing" on the page where students put words they think of in relation to the shape they've chosen. I find that the brainstorming section takes the pressure of the student to "write." Children who are nervous about writing a poem or choosing the correct words for their poem don't have as much trouble just making a list of words that come to mind when they imagine the shape they've chosen. And once they have some words typed in that's half the battle. All they need to do now is string them together and voila, they are poets.
The one thing I wish the template would also do is allow copy and paste or some other transfer of the words already brainstormed into the spot where you type your poem because it's not easy for little folks to type those words twice. So if your student or child already has a handwritten list of brainstormed words I would skip typing them into the brainstorm page and go directly to typing into the shape page.
Here's one that I did.
I like how the shape and title even have cutout lines around them because shape poems are a great way to combine technology with old fashioned, tactile, cut and paste and glue and paint.
Readwritethink.org doesn't require a login or a subscription which is another great plus. If you use this resource I'd love to hear your comments.