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Gap fill poems

Average: 3.2 (523 votes)

I like to use this activity to introduce poetry into the classroom and to raise learners' awareness of the beauty and fun to be had with poetry. It can also be used to practise learners' pronunciation.

Gap fill poems - activity

I chose a poem titled ‘I wish my husband were online'. I chose this as it contains a number of rhyming couplets. It is available free from the following website


  • Choose a suitable poem. One that contains some rhyming couplets is ideal. The level and age of your learners will determine the type and length of poem you will be choosing.
  • Take out some of the rhyming couplets and write these words on a piece of card. Cut up the words so one word is on a separate piece.
  • Retype the words of the poem so it contains gaps where the rhyming couplets were.
  • If you want to do this as a listening activity you could record the poem in advance.


  • Make students aware of rhyming and what ‘to rhyme' means. Give and elicit examples. Write these on the board. Encourage learners to rhyme things with their name or hometown etc to personalise the activity.
  • Give each student one of the cut-up words.
  • Students walk around and find their partner. This would be the person with a word that rhymes with theirs.
  • After they have found their partner they can write the words on the board. Make sure they write the words in pairs.
  • Give out the poem. Learners use the words on the board to fill in the gaps.
  • Learners listen and check.
  • Learners could then recite the poem to each other in groups.


  • Learners could make a list of words that rhyme with the couplets
  • You could have learners add their own words to the poem to create a new poem.
  • You could use the poem as a springboard for discussion.

Written by Derek Spafford

First published in August 2008

Language level
Language Level: 
Intermediate: B1