How to teach students to write poems

Writing is important for ESL students.

Poet Tree in Kanchanaburi

Last month, Poet Tree sponsored a contest to share the most interesting application of ideas from this column. The winner of the contest is Mr. Khajit Foythong, a secondary teacher at Nongreephachanimit School in rural Kanjanaburi province. Mr. Khajit’s teaching style and dedication to his students are very inspiring. He offers useful ways of adapting ideas published in Poet Tree to his own classroom situation.

Rural Children

It must be very difficult to encourage children in rural areas to perceive the value of learning a foreign language. They live far from the city and rarely experience foreign culture, so the teacher must face these obstacles to help students develop. Mr. Khajit says that his students lack motivation to study English. He finds that teaching English by using poetry is the best way to develop their creative skills. Although his students may not immediately need English skills, the creative skills that they learn are important to their personal development.

Symbols in Daily Life

Teacher Khajit wrote to Poet Tree with many examples of how he teaches Symbols in Daily Life, which was published in Poet Tree on 4 May 2004. He uses ideas from that column to guide his students to be more aware of symbols around them. Here are some examples that he uses:


Suggested Meaning
My old shoes Symbolizes end of life, old and useless
An ashtray Symbolizes dirt, ignorance and death
Kitchen table Symbolizes my family

From the Congo to the River Kwai

Mr. Khajit adapted the poem by Langston Hughes, A Negro Speaks of Rivers, to a context that his students could understand. While his students may not know much about the Congo River, they understand the River Kwai that is near home. This helps them compare their own experience to people in other countries. Here are two lines from the poem that he shared with his class:
Line of Poetry Symbolic Interpretation
I bathed in the Euphrates when dawns were young An innocent and peaceful time in the life of Negroes.
I built my hut near the Congo and it lulled me to sleep Shows down to earth life style, working and resting in native land.

Students’ Poems from Kanjanaburi

The purpose of encouraging students to write poetry at every level is to waken imagination and build confidence in self-expression. Even the simplest poems in basic English have value. These are the basic seeds of helping students discover themselves. Here are a few examples from Nongreephachanimit School, Bouploy District, Kanjanaburi. The first poem is about the student’s younger brother who is sick and unable to walk and help himself. Here, she uses poetry to reveal her feelings and to enjoy using English. My Brother by Miss Rungnapa Sungkird, Grade 10
I am a little girl

I have my mother
We love the river
We will travel with my brother


I Like by Miss Wasana Boomroongket
I like flowers
I like to go to the river
I will travel on summer
I will go with my sister
by Miss Wasana Boomroongket This is a gentle poem from 10th grade English class. This is a good start. Now her teacher may encourage her to describe the flowers with specific colours and smells. Then, she can add details about the flow of the river. She could tell where she will travel and how she will get there. Writing poetry is a gradual process that begins with basic lines of description or feeling. With a teacher like Mr. Khajit, these students can develop their observation and description skills.

85 Kilometres to the Learning Post

For those of us living in Bangkok or another large city, getting a copy of the daily newspaper is literally a few steps away. We forget how far away many people are from our so-called convenient urban way of life. Mr. Khajit rides his motorcycle 85 kilometres every Tuesday to purchase the Bangkok Post. This reminds us to see Thailand from a rural perspective that is often forgotten in the traffic jams and pollution of big cities.

A Promise for Siam

Mr. Khajit is a dedicated teacher who is a good model for all teachers through his dedication and creative efforts to help his students. Surely, there are hundreds of teachers like him around the country working hard to help the children. He receives a personally signed copy of my collection of poetry, A Promise for Siam to share with his students in the classroom. Hopefully his students will enjoy the poems and be inspired to write their own poems about their homeland. You can send your poem by email. Mark the subject line: Poet Tree and send to this address: [email protected] Visit Tom's poetry column at  


บันทึกนี้เขียนที่ GotoKnow โดย  ใน khajit's blog

ความเห็น (26)

IP: xxx.181.195.211

ขอบคุณค่ะ สำหรับข้อความดีๆ ที่มีประโยชน์


  • เขียนเรื่องนี้มาเกือบ 10 เดือนแล้วครับ
  • สงสัยว่าทำไมเพิ่งมีคนมาแสดงความคิดเห็น
  • หาพบได้อย่างไรครับ
  • ซึ้งครับซึ้ง
มิ่งกมล ประวรรณา
IP: xxx.25.145.188
ง่า... มันก็ดูได้อยู่หรอกนะคะ แต่มันอ่านไม่ออกค่ะ เวลาจะแต่งกลอนภาษาอังกฤษมันน่าจะมีคู่มือภาษาไทยให้ด้วยนะคะ จะเป็นพระคุณอย่างยิ่งค่ะ
  • โอโหคนที่สองในรอบปี
  • กลอนภาษาอังกฤษน่าจะสัมผัสง่ายกว่าภาษาไทยนะครับ
  • ค้นหาเจอได้อย่างไรครับคุณมิ่งกมล ประวรรณา
  • ขอบคุณมากครับ
  • Congratulation Mr. Khajit who is the winner of the contest.
  • Thanks Pee Bangchay

Hi! my brother,

  • Thanks a lot for sending good things and the good way in "How to teach and make my students love English subject?"
  • I think I can ..... . I  will try to do the best.
  •  I really agreee with this ...... It must be very difficult to encourage children in rural areas to perceive the value of learning a foreign language. They live far from the city and rarely experience foreign culture, so the teacher must face these obstacles to help students develop. Mr. Khajit says that his students lack motivation to study English.
  • Wow! The winner of the contest is Mr. Khajit Foythong  ......Oh!,  I want to tell you that I'm very pround of you my brother.
  • Thank you Pee Ann
  • I used this method when I taught English in secondary school.
  • I hope it will be useful for you.

น่ายินดีและดีใจ กับ อ. ขจิต ด้วยค่ะ

อิจฉาคนที่เก่งภาษาอังกฤษ โดยเฉพาะ อาจารย์ ขจิต ค่ะ

  • ว้าวขอปรบมือให้ค่ะ
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Congratulations ka Aj. Khajit for being the winner of the contest.

You are really deserved for being the winner :)


Thanks for your kindness Krub


Thank you for your comment

I teach Thai and English too.

I try make and do

I like that someone help, Who!?

I think as really You. ( Khajit Foythong)


Thank ""


อ.ขจิต คะ เคยเลียนแบบโคลงสี่สุภาพไทยไว้แบบนี้

สอน วิจารณ์ด้วยค่ะ

 For our friends

Something cannot friends.

Even sunshine , rains .........................or winter.

Warmness , hospitality remains............remember.

 Everlasting love together...................just you and me.



หลายคำหลายสิ่งไม่..........................อาจกล่าว เอ่ยเอื้อน




IP: xxx.151.232.70

เปล่าหาย งานเยอะจัง

ต่างหาก เดี๋ยวเอากลอนมาให้อ่านนะ


โห ท่านพี่แบรด พริกกะเหรี่ยงขา

* you're so superb & cool!

* congratulations! new  news

อยากแต่งกลอน ภาษาอังกฤษเป็นบ้างจังค่ะ

... ลอง ๆ นะคะ ... สด ๆ แบบประตู ไม่มีกลอน

* .. good night p' khajit

... brad prik kareang  ...

... pray pray ohm peang

... my dream come true !

* พอใช้ได้ ไหมคะ :)  good night, might mare?




I Like by Miss Wasana Boomroongket

I like flowers

I like to go to the river

I will travel on summer

ฉันอยากจะท่องเที่ยวไปให่สุดหล้าฟ้าเขียนเหมือนนกตัวน่อย ๆ จังนะคะอาจารย์

ฐาปนีย์ ธัญญพานิช
IP: xxx.121.172.18

Thank you Aj. Khajit.

    I try to find the method for encouraging my students to write easy poems then after reading your writing, I get the idea. Thanks.




It's a very creative and impressive method for English study. It inspire me to learn more about English poetry. Moreover, I think that I should practice writing English poet using your method.

Thank you krub,


ครูระเบียบ สันตติวงศ์ไชย
IP: xxx.24.191.216

I am a teacher of English and I can write poems in Thai. I usually write poems and I know that writing poems needs to store vocabularies, build emotions and have critical thinking. I would like to enhance my students to become more literacy. Months ago I read your story about poet tree. It's very impressive and captured my mind. Every other day I nearly burst out my head trying to access the internet to dig up creative writing activities to teach on the new academic year. You are my idol. Rabiab



พี่อ่านมาหลายตอนแต่ยังอ่อน ABCD

พี่อ่านทุกขั้นตอน เอ๊ะกลการสอนนี้ดี


  • ขอบคุณพี่ครูภาทิพ
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"The winner of the contest is Mr. Khajit Foythong"

  • น้องซิลเวียแวะมาอ่านข่าวดีๆแม้จะย้อนหลังไปหลายปี..แต่ก็เป็นความรู้ที่ดีที่ถ่ายทอดผ่านตัวอักษรข่าว BangkokPost ให้คนรุ่นหลังได้เรียนรู้ค่ะ
  • ขอชื่นชมวิธีการสอนของอาจารย์ดังกล่าวค่ะ..แล้วMethod นั้นจดลิขสิทธิ์หรือเปล่าคะอาจารย์..
  • ทำให้น้องซิลเซียอยากจะหัดเขียนกลอนเป็นภาษาอังกฟษดูบ้างค่ะ...แต่ไม่รู้จะไหวไหมนี่ ..ขอบคุณค่ะ