Poems are your favorite, but creating them isn’t as easy as it seems. You can work your linguistic magic by using writing prompts. High schoolers can benefit from poetry prompts that are fun, lovey dovey, or even political.
Poetry Slam or Competition Writing Prompts for High School
The style of spoken word poetry differs from that of written poetry. Each of your words, your tone, and your emotion matters. You want your poem to leave an impression on your audience, giving them that wow moment.
Whenever you’re writing for a competition or speaking, you want your poem to be memorable. If you deal with more controversial topics like prejudice, justice, etc., you can leave your audience stunned. You might want to try the following poetry prompts:
- Describe a moment when you were pushed to make the wrong decision. What is the impact of that choice on you? Did it change your life in any way?
- Share your feelings about school’s social hierarchy. Let us know how this affected your life as an observer or from a personal perspective.
- Describe the first time you experienced prejudice in high school. Racism or classism might have been involved. From that moment on, explore your feelings.
- Consider a time when you experienced social injustice from a teacher. Perhaps you were treated unfairly or you were affected by favoritism.
- Examine the impact of bullying. From an observer’s perspective or from your own experience, you can explore this issue.
- Consider how your first real loss affected you. A pet, friend, or family member may have passed away.
- Consider the fear that comes with the unknown. You may be afraid of a death or an upcoming event. Become familiar with the anxiety and fear that can accompany the unknown.
- Feel free to write about a political issue you are passionate about or one that has impacted your life personally. There could be a presidential election, an environmental issue, etc.
- Take a look at how you have changed since elementary school. Take a close look at your choices, both the good and the bad. If you want to see how your feelings, emotions, and thoughts have changed over time, you might examine one personal event that shaped you or changed your direction.
- Think about your fears and insecurities regarding school safety. Examine your feelings about school massacres that have occurred in history. Have you changed as a result of this? When a school goes into lockdown, how do you feel?
- Explore your feelings about sex and the pressure to have sex. What impact does it have on you and those around you? What effect does this pressure have on your thinking?
- Poems about teen drinking or drug use can be based on your own experiences. This might be a warning poem or a reflection on a personal experience. Do you know what led you to drink or use drugs? What motivated you to do that?
- Describe the experience of having a close friend turn into an enemy. Is there a reason why this happened? What changes did you experience as a result of it?
Funny Poetry Prompts
It is fun to write about embarrassing moments for these prompts. When it comes to using literary devices like similes and metaphors, you’ll want to go for maximum laugh potential. Here are some funny writing prompts to get you started.
- What is your favorite food? Write an ode to it.
- In a limerick, express how you feel about school lunch.
- Take a moment to reflect on your most embarrassing experience.
- Imagine your pet as a human and write a poem about it.
- Create a poem based on a funny image.
- The event that led to the stain on your favorite garment deserves an epic poem.
- An eraser’s day in the life can be described in a poem.
- Write a sonnet about a time when you fell in public.
- Describe a time when you embarrassed yourself in front of your crush.
- You can write a humorous poem about your parents when they were in high school.
High School Poetry Prompts of Love
Most likely, high school is the time when you experience your first great love and most likely your first great loss. It can be great poetry material to break down the feelings of euphoria and pain. There are many great works based on epic love. Here are a few poetry writing prompts for high school students about love.
- Imagine the feelings of a love you never experienced. Have you confessed? Did you hide your love? Does it still remain hidden?
- If you have experienced a great love loss during high school, write a poem about it. Is it different from other experiences you’ve had?
- Consider how maternal, paternal, or sibling love differs from romantic love. Compare and contrast the similarities and differences.
- Describe the feelings you have for a crush in a piece of art.
- Keep a record of the feeling of your first love. Is there anything you expect from a first love if you haven’t experienced one?
- Discover what you love about your crush. Why did you fall in love with them? Do you think it was the looks or the personality?
- Consider the euphoria or awkwardness of your first kiss.
- In your opinion, what does love mean to you? What is the best way to describe love to you?
- Write about the love you have for your parents, grandparents, siblings, or guardians. Since becoming a high schooler, how has your love evolved?
- Imagine the emotions that come with your first love. Discover what it’s like to feel in love for the first time in a new light.
Politically Charged Poetry Prompts
The majority of high school students may not think beyond their own little bubble of community. In class or if you’re experiencing an event that has affected you and other students, writing a poem can be a therapeutic way to express your feelings. High school students can write about the following political topics:
- The current political climate should be the subject of a poem.
- Discover how a historical event has changed the course of history. How would things have been different if the outcome had been different?
- What are the effects of racism on communities and lives? Through poetry, you can explore your feelings based on personal experience or an event.
- Do all crimes have a black and white solution? Is there a gray area? Explore your personal experiences or thoughts through free verse poetry.
- Discuss a catastrophic event that has occurred around the world and how it has affected you.
- Are teen pregnancies epidemics? Make a short rhyming poem out of your thoughts.
- Consider how climate change affects you personally and the world as a whole. Based on your opinions and assumptions, write a poem.
Using Poetry Writing Prompts in High School
Writing prompts are a great way to get high school students thinking and writing as well as to see different viewpoints during a competition or slam. These might be useful in the classroom, in a competition, or just to get past writing blocks. These writing prompts can be used in a variety of ways. Here are some tips on how to make the most out of them.
- There is something personal about poetry. It is important to choose a prompt that you can relate to and that you can write well about.
- Incorporate personal experiences and imagery into your poem to convey your message. It isn’t necessary to be a master linguist, but you must let the audience know what you are thinking.
- Try a different writing prompt every day to keep your writing magic alive. You can sometimes improve your skills by writing on a difficult subject.
- Explore imagery if you don’t have any personal experience with a subject. Words can sometimes come alive in your mind through imagery.
- Put your writing skills to the test by writing in different poetic styles, rhyming schemes, and wordings. You may not realize how difficult it is to write haikus.
- Play around with it and have fun. You have more fun writing poetry the more it will show. Writing is about getting your thoughts on paper.
- Try out different perspectives. Have you ever considered putting yourself in the shoes of an inanimate object? Write a poem from the perspective of a bird.
- You can modify a prompt to fit your needs.
- Your first time through won’t make you a lyrical genius. To see if the poem changes, try looking at the same prompt from a different perspective.
In a short amount of writing, poetry can convey a great deal of emotion and experience. Your poetry might be in the form of a book or a short haiku. If you choose poetry writing prompts, remember to experiment and have fun. Even if you don’t think you are a literary master yet, poetry writing is all about your own journey as a writer.