Poetry in the Primary Indonesian Languages Classroom

Poetry in the Primary Indonesian Language Program Title Pic

If you know me or follow me on Facebook or Instagram, then you will know that I LOVE POETRY! {I often share it!}

I’ve loved poetry since I was young and later when I began to learn Indonesian, I started trying my hand at writing poetry in Indonesian. It was a great way for me to be creative with my love of poetic literature and also practise and improve on my language learning skills. I believe poetry is a great text type to include in any Languages Program.

Let’s look at some benefits of including poetry in a Languages Program:

  • Texts of differing lengths and complexity
  • Lively and authentic language
  • Intercultural connections
  • Lends itself to study of vocabulary and grammar
  • Phonetics and phonology i.e. stress, tone, intonation
  • Links to other writing genres e.g. chants, songs, rap, SMS

Each form of poetry has its own style and can be used as a vehicle to teach almost any component of a Languages Curriculum!

There are various forms of poetry to explore with your students; acrostic poems, alphabet poems, counting poems, concrete poems and even tongue twisters. All great forms of poetry to incorporate into your primary Languages program {or even secondary Languages program}.

Let’s take a look at some different types of poetry that could be used in a primary Indonesian program.

Acrostic poems – one of the easiest forms of poetry there is and one that primary students should be familiar with. I’m sure most primary students would have written an acrostic poem in their classroom {in English}, so why not introduce it in your Indonesian program as students will be familiar with it.

  • Acrostic poems are easy to write and simple in format
  • They are also known as ‘name’ poems as the name of a person, object or place is written vertically down the left-hand side of the page
  • Each word should relate or describe the vertical word and each line may be a single word or a phrase

Acrostic poem sample JULIE

Alphabet poems – a great way to practise the alphabet {obviously} and other simple vocabulary.

  • Alphabet poems take their form by using each letter of the alphabet in sequence
  • Alphabet poems can focus on a particular topic; E.g. – animals, fruit or colours
  • Alphabet poems can combine a couple of topics; E.g. – fruit and colours
  • Versatile for various age groups and can be adapted easily

For example;

  • Prep – could be simplified; A – Apel {flashcards could be used as a great resource for this}
  • Secondary – could be extended; – write sentences on more complex topics

Alphabet Poem Sample Fruit + Colours

Counting poems – this form of poetry is a great way for students to practice their numbers, as well as combining other vocabulary. You could also focus on ‘Days of the week’ vocabulary through this form of poetry.

  • There is a range of poetry forms that use numbers as a base
  • Students can model these for their own versions – simple form or more complex for older students

Counting Poem Sample

Concrete poems – a great way for students to express themselves creatively and visually. There are endless opportunities with the creation of a concrete poem.

  • Concrete poems are picture poems or shape poems, in which the words form an image of what the poem is about
  • It is a visual poem – students can add illustrations to their poem to use a collage effect or add digital images
  • These poems look fantastic on display in the Languages classroom or around the school
  • The actual shape of the poem could even be culturally relevant e.g. a durian or palm tree

elephant concrete poem

Tongue twisters – a fun, quick form of poetry to introduce to your students. Students can practise saying them and they can even write their own.

  • Tongue-twisters use repeated letters and sounds
  • Tongue-twisters are a great way for students to have fun with Indonesian words and to practice pronunciation
  • Try including tongue-twister races into your Languages classes, your students will have great fun!

Tongue twister Sample

There are so many ways to introduce poetry into your Indonesian Languages classes and its important to remember to always model various poetry forms to assist students when writing their own poems.

Aside from students learning about different forms of poetry and writing their own poetry, there are many different activities based on poetry to include in your Indonesian Languages program, which will build students’ literacy skills and enhance their Indonesian language learning skills.

Have you included poetry into your Indonesian Languages program?

What form of poetry have you introduced?

Did your students enjoy it?


  1. says

    Love the idea of tongue twisters! I’ve been toying with the idea of having a comprehensible tongue twister up on the board to give students a challenge as they sit waiting for the lesson to start! I love the one you have included in this post as almost every word is comprehensible for my students – the word ‘bang’ isn’t and having it in a tongue twister provides me with a perfect mini cultural opportunity!

    • indospired says

      Glad you liked the idea of tongue twisters Bu Cathy – students love them! Great to have an incidental cultural lesson included too! 🙂

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