Writing Mini-Lessons: Student Free Verse Samples

These free verse poetry samples were all written by sixth grade students. These pieces are excellent examples of free verse, but as with all writing, even the most famous masterpieces, there is room for revision. Each piece does many things well, and any one piece may serve as a model or ignite ideas for your own free verse poetry.

Where I’m From Poems

This Is Who I Am

I’m from the worn down couch
and the affable house.
From the fights and the hugs
and the late night movies.
I lived with the dog that used to be there
and the imagination that soared and
talked to us like human beings.
I sat at the old vintage table
where we got into important matters.

I’m from the suburbs full of youths.
I’m from where you were able
to go anywhere
without a problem,
and then the “not welcome” signs arose.
I stumbled on the cracked asphalt
where I have fallen,
bulldozed and drew blood.
I climbed the great sycamore tree
with its branches full of wisdom
pushing me down to failure.

I am from the great aunts and uncles
who were there on the day
of the almost fatal crash.
I listen to my dad telling me what to do
and my mom helping me.
I frolic with the cousin
who I once thought my sibling,
only for us to become more distant
compared to the past.

I’m from the “help me”
to the “get down from there!”
Proudly hearing “he’s so nice”
and not so proud hearing
“he’s such a tease.”
Saying the “stop”
and then hearing “CHARLIE!”

I’m from the daily chicken, rice, vegetables,
and the casual fat free milk.
I am from the exquisite dinners
with the fancy napkins and forks
to the bitter soup
with the silver washed out spoon.
I ate the delicious chicken parmesan
to the fast food night dinners.

I’m from the leather photo album.
I’m captured in the pictures within
illustrating each and every thing I’ve done,
mistake or not.

Of Love

I am from the flower patched meadows
of fireball dandelions,
where shadows remain and
the grass still grows,
for the stream to strike through
like a lighting bolt,
and the little red bridge to cross
over the vicious rapids,
the daring explorer firm against
the blood stained shore.

Into the sandbox, castles under siege
by my pink tiny hands,
the archers’ pleas buried in the sand.

I am from the loving arms
of my mom and dad,
teaching me the value of life and kindness,
that the dirt stained worm will not
live if you butcher it in two,
that it has a heart, too

To the sorrow of life,
that I’ve learned to accept,
that we all have one life and one death,
and what choices we make in our lifetime,
is what defines us.

I am from the huge oak that was cut down,
the memories that I still have,
will always be clear in my head,

With the love
of dearest friends.

Paint Me Like I Am Poems

Paint Me Like I Am

Why don’t you
Paint me like I am?
Laughing and dancing
With my loving friends
And family in my heart
With happiness,
Love, and compassion
In my hands

Paint me as a red rose
Soft and generous,
Yet powerful and strong
Paint me as a vibrant,
Dazzling sun
A warm, welcoming
Light that can make
People happy
When they need it most

Why don’t you
Paint me like I am?
Covered in flour,
Baking and cooking
Making birthday cakes
And home-cooked meals

Paint me like a beach
With a few shady spots
But mostly open and free
Paint me without tears
Paint me without sorrow
And paint me fearless,
Truthful and real.

Why don’t you
Paint me like I am?
Pretty and graceful
As I move through life
Paint me with friendships
Show my adventurous side
With your pastels
Let your brush strokes
Show me as the Niagara Falls
Formidable, a beautiful sight to see

Why don’t you
Paint me like I am?
Good-natured and sociable
In my interactions
Paint me delightful and delighted
A compassionate animal-lover,
A creative jewelry-maker
With the heart of an athlete
And the mind of a scholar

Open your eyes
Observe closely
And paint me
Like I am

Why Don’t You Paint Me Like I Am?

Why don’t you paint me
like I am?
laughing and running
and singing
in the green grass
With brunette hair
and tan skin
with the white puffy clouds
in my hands.

Why don’t you paint me like I am?
Paint me as a delicate little
child as lovely as can be,
not a child with no allegiance.
Paint me with courage.

Paint me vigorous.
Paint me appealing and beautiful.
Paint me like I am.
Paint me as a freedom child
with thoughts of wisdom.
Paint me without sorrow
and despondency.

Paint me as a strong leader
who cares for all beating hearts.
Paint me with sacred values.
Why don’t you paint me like I am?
Paint me agile.
paint me,
simply me.

Legacy Poems

A Better Legacy

They say sad, lazy,
useless, anti-social.
They say kids these days
won’t even notice you
if you slap them in the face.

They think all we
believe in is talk show
hostess and Burger King.
They think we will all grow up
to be fast food workers and bums.

They talk about all
the generations after us
following in our footsteps.
They talk about our late
mornings and early evenings,
how young start becoming old
with every click of the remote.

I think about our boring futures
and how our legacy is being
all about the technology age,
when our world starts to crumble
because we can’t take the time
to look up from our screens
and say that what we
are doing is wrong,

and when people start
to disappear
behind  xxx large T-shirts,
I watch the streets
clutter with trash made not
just by our generation,
but by others as well,
the others who had wished
for change and envisioned
our generation’s failure.

Now I know that our
legacy will be filled
with hoarders, dumpster divers,
and iPhone 17’s.

But my legacy
will be different.
I want to be known
as happy, energized, and helpful.
I want to be known
as the one who gave

the man in the alley
some clothes,
the one who stood
in front of a car just to save
a stray dog, the one who helped
out a perfect stranger.

I want to be
known as a savior,
a hero, a helper, a friend.
I want to be able to change
people’s image of our generation
and make them see
we hold much more
in our hands
than a phone.

Now tell me…
what will your legacy be?

What Are We Made Of?

They say our legacy will be,
nothing more than a
blotchy coffee stain
on the canvas of history.

They say our legacy will be,
short lived super stars
making it big time
and dying as fast
as they were discovered.

They say our legacy will be,
as deadbeat as a sunflower
that won’t
live to see the sun,
or music booming
bodies side-to-side
but nobody listening.

Generation of—
“They don’t deserve
to be remembered!”
Generation of open offices
and computers
but nobody educated enough
to use it,
nobody educated enough
to know what our generation
is really capable of.

But I want my legacy to be
as an artist in the world
From pint-sized canvases
hanging all over the world
to the big murals in New York,
but it’s not the size of the painting
it’s size of message in it.

I want to make people think,
stare, feel, wonder
and see the message written in my art
because I have something to say
and you’re going to listen,
Because all of us have something
to say and you’re going to listen.

I’m saying this because
I believe in a better world
I know a better world exists
for my generation and more to come.

So I say, make every moment
one of knowledge
one of beauty
one of compassion
one of strength
one of grace
And we’ll show you
what our generation is made of.

Resolve

They say our legacy will be boring iPhone addicts with bad eyes.
Generation of overweight athletes, and high school dropouts.
A generation of Netflix, Instagram, and Twitter.
Two left feet, and a blind eye.
Siri, remote controls, and other lazy voice activated products.
Backward hats, belly shirts, high-heeled boots, and sagging pants.
Our generation sitting in the stands, eating popcorn, hot dogs, and drinking coke.
A boring, indolent, and just sad legacy that will be erased from history like chalk on a chalkboard.

But I want my legacy to be as an athlete in the world.
Sprinting, dashing, and slamming the soccer ball into the goal.
Encouraging, cheering on, giving them the determination to continue.
A by-your-side athlete, a congenial sport, but blissful and aggressive.

I want to be a sister who laughs with her siblings,
a daughter that loves and respects her parents,
a cook that chops with her cousin,
and a granddaughter that makes her grandparents proud.
I want to be the cement that is grounded and strong.

I want to be able to say that I did what was right,
fought on the side that chose for themselves,
and fought for the cause that was greater than myself.
I stand up on that cliff called life where I jump and dive, not afraid to take risks.
A crew of people who want to become themselves,
let their souls shine through their smiles,
sprinting into the sunrise to start a new day.

Because I believe in our loyalty to one another,
and that what we want to be is important,
that our words can make a change, we can make a change.
Not afraid to take risks,
complete the obstacle course without listening to the criticism of the sidelines.
Our generation must move forward to make the decisions that we want to make,
be the people that we want to be, and that if we do these things,
we will establish our own life and our own legacy.

My Legacy

They say
our generation
is all about the
technology,
and we are
so lazy that we
can’t even get
off our bums to get the
remote on the table

They say
we have no
self control
That we don’t know
what we
are doing

So we have all
the lectures,
“You don’t know what
I have been through.”
That you have to
listen to over
and over again

They think
we listen to them
But we never really do
They say our whole life
is all Five guys,
The burger joint

But I want
my legacy
to be as a
poet in my nation
Writing my thoughts
on paper
And speaking on
center stage

With not a single
thought in my head
But with only my poetry
running through
my mind

I want to be a friend
to people that are
feeling down
And need someone
to talk to
over the phone
at 2:00 in the morning

Because I believe in
good people
People who
don’t mind
giving up
their time
to volunteer

in a local
animal shelter
to help the animal
that has been
kicked and pushed
around
all its life

Because I believe
that anyone can
do a good deed
Each of us
can make
a difference

The ones who have
the biggest hearts
Can do such
a little thing
And make
a big change

I hope you
remember me
Remember me
as the girl
who was
the little girl who
grew up

into a wonderful
woman
The girl who
conquered
her fears

Monster Poems

Loneliness

loneliness is a monster
that hides and lives
in your shadow

she was born
from fear and sadness
her eyes are a murky grey,
filled with sorrow and longing
she is scrawny and thin, but she is
as mighty and powerful as fear
her skin is like burnt paper,
and her body is long and tall

she reaches out
with crippled, frail hands
and holds on
with a strong grip,
clinging to you

she draws you in,
looking pitiful but she
is cruel and hateful;
she has neither
love nor friends
to feed off of

she isolates
you in a world
of terror and misery
she grows bigger,
keeping you captive
alone in darkness; you

can’t get away from her;
she just keeps
crawling towards you,
always clinging tightly
to every part of you

you’ll know she’s been
there when you
see your friend
sitting alone on the bench,
in the middle
of a swarm of kids;

you’ll know when
you see someone
staring off into space;
you’ll know when
you have that chilly feeling
inside yourself
and all you see
is darkness;

you’ll know when
you feel her skeletal
fingers digging
into your skin

don’t ignore her;
she’ll hold on tighter
you won’t be able to dice
her with a knife;
you can’t bruise
her with a bat;

don’t give in to her;
don’t pity her;
don’t give up;
find love in your family
and with your friends

then loneliness
will turn wispy
and vanish
like smoke
curling and dancing
upward,
disappearing forever

This Monster of Mine

My monster is Time.
There is not enough
of it in the world.

This monster looks
like your dad
with grey hair.
It looks like
the countertop
you used to not even
be able to reach,
the one you now
tower over.

This monster,
Time,
takes away your life.
It counts
down the days,
taunting you,
laughing at you.

This monster,
Time,
takes away
your parents
and your friends.
As time ticks
away you
slowly flake away.

I know this monster,
Time,
is present because
when you think
you have plenty of it,
you really don’t.

When you are
having fun
with your brother
or your sister
or your friends
or anyone
time seems to tick
away even faster.

To defeat this monster,
Time,
all you have to do
is live fully
in the moment.
Don’t think
about the future
too much or you will
be hamstrung in its web

Do what you love,
cherish every minute
don’t waste what time
you have been given
because you only
have so much.

Pontification Poem

Black Pepper Corns

Those little, ugly,
horrible-tasting,
black pepper corns.
They taste so awful
when they explode
in your mouth
with excruciating flavor.

The worst part
is they expand
to every single one
of your taste buds
in many directions!

Every time I see
those peppercorns
with my majestic,
hazel eyes,
I get a horrible feeling,

a feeling that makes
my tummy rumble
with disgust!
Oh, how atrocious
those peppercorns are,
always giving people
a dreadful time!
They never let you go
until that ten-minute
mark is over.

Those little peppercorns
are always hiding
beneath your food
and in your food.

Each peppercorn is
like a diminutive detective
hiding in the abyss
trying to pop out
at the right time
ready to put
a bad taste
in your mouth
when you least
suspect it.

Praise Poems

Pride

I am the golden lightning shining as bright as I can.
I wonder while looking at
The topaz rocks, should I be ashamed of who I am or
Should I be proud of my Mexican Heritage?
Gift from my mom being from Michoacán and my dad being from Jalos
I am the red white and green with an eagle in the middle.
Mira quien soy, the beauty of my Latina heritage,
The salsa beat of my heart like a majestic eagle,
But I am deadly.
“¡Viva la Raza!” my abuelo yells it out every day.
My Mexican heritage stands with me.
We are all blessed with Jesus,
The little kids on the streets playing with their boleros and
Their delicious burritos with dancers catching my attention.
Am I Arabian…American…Canadian?
No. I am Mexican,
Mexicana.

I Am

I am ruby San-Fran with
A splash of India.
An olive Germany girl, too.

I don’t walk,
I glide;
With violet confidence,
Not knowing what’s coming next,
Just living in the moment.

I am not the tallest redwood in the bunch,
Just around the taller end.

I am the singing bird.

I am who I am and nobody can change me.
I am who I am and who I want to be.

“Who are you?” you may ask.
If you do, read this again, and if you still don’t understand,
Read it until you make a list of things that make me,
Sonia violet confidence, medium size, Eloise, singing
Indian-German, acting, Goetschius.

Me.