Chain Poems

Yesterday, I taught my students how to write a chain poem. It is poem of association, playfulness, and whimsy. It starts with one word and builds from there. Chain poems are great for hesitant writers as they encourage nonsense and surprise. All of my students had fun writing them. Here is the link to the lesson.

We used the word mirror to start our chain. Here is my chain poem.

a mirror is a fragile

image of the past,

an old photograph

or forgotten memory

hidden in the depths

of your abandoned thoughts,

a silent and secret

long ago identity


Here is a student example:

A mirror

reflects your personality

a pond

with ducks flapping their wings

a yellow leaf on the surface

baby chicks hatching

“tweet” “tweet” they say

turning into a graceful flying V.


Here is another student example:

A mirror has a

clear reflection

water rippling

fish swimming

shiny scales moving

lizards sunbathing in the

hot sun

desert sand storms

a cactus stabbing a fly


One more student example:

A mirror is like

a reflection

in a puddle

with a splash

in rubber boots

frogs leaping

bright green

the color of grass

cows grazing


9 thoughts on “Chain Poems”

  1. I love this lesson and my steal it myself! You are right that it’s a springboard for reluctant poets, but it’s also, I think, a way for young writers to delve deeper into an idea without fear. Your student samples show that. “Graceful flying v” …”Desert sand storm”…”cactus stabbing a fly”…”bright green the color of grass.” Clear images all.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is a great activity and one I wish I had when I was still teaching. It is a great way to help students who say they can’t write poetry or don’t know what to write.

    Liked by 1 person

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