Poetry Tuesday

Poetry Activity: All About Meter

Interested in poetry?
Learn about meter with this activity for kids, adults, and everyone in-between!

1. Introduction to Meter:
Many poems use something called meter. What is meter? Meter is like the rhythm of a poem. The meter is why you sometimes want to move your head up and down when you sing catchy songs or certain children’s poetry. Let me show you what I mean…

Try saying this out loud as steadily as you can.


Pretty easy, right? And a little tedious, maybe.
Do it again and clap this time!


Okay, now read this with the same rhythm:

fish, bird, cat, dog
fox, pig, rat, frog

(Did you notice something special about those two lines? They rhymed! For more about rhymes, click here)

Each of those lines has 4 beats (also called stresses). What if we added some words? Would that change the meter? Not necessarily.

The fish, the bird, the cat, and the dog,
The fox, the pig, the rat, and the frog

Do you hear the beat in those words? The meter actually stayed the same! Even though there are more words, the meter actually didn’t change one little bit.

2. Meter in Poetry:
Here are some lines of poetry. Some of them have 3 beats, some of them have 4. Try reading the bold words just a little bit louder so you can hear the meter!

The Violet
Down in a green and shady bed  (4 beats)
A modest violet grew; (3 beats)
Its stalk was bent, it hung its head, (4 beats)
As if to hide from view. (3 beats)
~Jane Taylor (lines 1-4)

Twinkle Twinkle, Little Star
, Twinkle, little star! (4 beats)
How I wonder what you are, (4 beats)
Up above the world so high, (4 beats)
Like a diamond in the sky. (4 beats)
~Jane Taylor (lines 1-4)

3. Practicing Meter:
Now you try! See if you can find the beats (stresses) in The Violet. Print it out here and circle or highlight the beats:  The Violet

Hungry for more? Check out this week’s…

Poem Study: The Violet, by Jane Taylor
Advanced Poetry Lesson: Haiku, Week 2

6 thoughts on “Poetry Activity: All About Meter”

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