Translate a Poem

Overview: Students can have fun with this language exercise, and communicate with classes in other countries on the internet.

Resources: Teacher: a poem in another language. Student: pencil, paper.
Teacher Preparation: Locate a class in another country (optional) or someone who can translate the poem.


1. Write on the chalkboard or give students a copy of a poem written in another language.
2. Have students write what they think the poem is saying.
3. Either give the students the translation, or e-mail the “guesses” to the other class and have them write back with their comments and the translation.

Variations/Options: Your students can research existing poems, perhaps looking for familiar ones the foreign class may be familiar with; use this as a poem writing exercise as well; take the time to discuss the poem in class – what the students like or dislike about it.