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“My Favorite Things” Poetry Writing Lesson

What's Your Favorite Thing?

It’s famously said about writing that you should “write what you know.” Unfortunately, this can mean a lot of different things, and can be easily misunderstood. For example, you might think it means to only write about things you have actually experienced. But that would be like saying you can’t write about someone driving a car if you’ve never driven a car yourself. Obviously that doesn’t make sense.

So instead of telling kids to “write what you know,” I like to say that “the easiest thing to write about is your favorite thing,” because that is what you know the most about. If you love playing video games, you probably know a lot about them. If your favorite thing happens to be karate, or soccer, or pizza, you probably know a lot about that.

This doesn’t mean that your favorite thing is the only thing you should write about, but if you are ever stuck for an idea, just ask yourself what you like and then write a poem about it.

In fact, if you have a lot of things you like, you can even make a simple list poem of all of your favorite things. Here’s how.

My Favorite Things List Poem

Step 1: Make a list of a as many of your favorite things as you can think of, like this:

  • Chocolate cake
  • Soccer
  • Movies
  • Puppies
  • Music
  • Computers

Step 2: See if you can rhyme anything on your list with something else you like. For example, you might like steak as well as chocolate cake.

Step 3: Rearrange your words so that you put the rhyming words, cake and steak at the ends of the lines, or at the end of every other line, like this:

Soccer, movies,
chocolate cake,
computers, puppies,
music, steak.

Step 4: Create an ending for your poem. Since this happens to be a poem about things that you like, you might plan to end the poem with a couple of lines, like this:

These are all the
things I like.

As you can see, you are going to need a few more things to add to your list, and one of them will need to rhyme with “like.” So your finished poem might look something like this:

Soccer, movies,
chocolate cake,
computers, puppies,
music, steak.

Monkeys, Minecraft,
riding my bike.
These are all the
things I like.

Some other good endings you might use include:

These are all
my favorite things.

or

This is all
my favorite stuff.

or

These are things
I like the most.

Then if you happen to like diamond rings, or marshmallow fluff, or cinnamon toast, you could use one of those words to rhyme with things, or stuff, or most.

Writing a Poem About Things You Don’t Like

Just as you can write a poem about your favorite things, you can also write a poem about your least favorite things; the things that you don’t like at all. Here’s an example I came up with:

Homework, spinach,
stinky smells,
the way my sister
always yells.

Going for a
ten-mile hike.
These are things
I do not like.

Your Turn

Now that you can see how easy it is to make a list poem about your favorite things or the things you don’t like, I hope you’ll give it a try yourself. Feel free to start from scratch, or take one of the poems above and add your own stanzas to the beginning or middle.