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Rhyming Couplet - Poetry Writing Workshop by Hollie McNish


Rhyming Couplets are 2 lines within a poem and the last word on each line rhymes.

To prepare: get into a group of max 5 people. Or go alone if you'd prefer. Get some big sheets of paper and some A4 and a few felt-tips.

 Step 1: Choose your topic.This might be something you feel passionate about, or have been researching or reading about and want to share with others. For us, the topic to focus on is the local change, but for general workshops, this can be anything that you think is important.

 Step 2: Get all your ideas out, let them flow freely.Take your topic title and write it in the middle of a sheet of flip paper. Then take 5 minutes, each member with a pen, and write down all of the words, thoughts and phrases you might associate with that idea. Write everything that comes into your head straight away. No censorship, you can do that later when you put it into poetry.

 Step 3: In your group, decide on the 5 (or more, depending on how long you want the poem to be!) most important words from what you’ve written down and circle them.

 Step 4: Set up a grid to put your poem into. Fill in every other right hand line with the 5 words you chose.

Look at me, way up high fly
An experience so serene
Just look at that scene
Enveloping views far below

 Step 5: Think of a word to rhyme with each word you have chosen and write it in the line below.

 Step 6: Now, this is the time-consuming part. Fill in the main area with the sentence which will lead up to each of your rhyming words. These can be as short, as long, as rhythmical or prose-like as you wish. Remember to concentrate on what you are trying to say, as you already now have a rhyme in place!

 Step 7: Performing. Now that you have your poem, decide who is going to read which lines and how you’ll read it. Will you sing it or rap it or speak it? Will you read it with an accent? Will you say any lines in unison like a speaking choir? Will you put any sound effects with it? Will you have any arm movements, actions or a dance to it perhaps?

Think about what might get your audience’s attention and keep them interested in the poem.

Speak clearly. Try to learn it off by heart if you have the time. Look at the audience. AndGO!


Examples of a Rhyming Couplet

For examples of Hollie’s work please visit

Your Turn

Finished? Why not submit your poem to Young Writers and we will enter it into one of our competitions.

Alternatively send your poem to:

Young Writers, Remus House, Coltsfoot Drive, Woodston, Peterborough, PE2 9BF or email it to