How to Write a Respect Poem
by Bruce Lansky

When you treat people and things in a kind, considerate, and polite way, you are being respectful. Respect is very important at home, at school, and everywhere you go. When you show respect, you show that you care for other people’s feelings or that you care for belongings, buildings, streets, and nature.

To show how much respect you have for people and things, try writing a fun respect poem. The easiest way to do this is to make simple list of what it means to be respectful at school.

First start by making a quick list of how you can show respect at school. List poems seem to work best when they are written with a parallel structure; that is, when each line begins the same way and follows the same pattern. Here’s an example of what you can use to get started:

    I show respect for the bus driver by…
    I show respect for my teacher by…
    I show respect for the cafeteria monitor by…
    I show respect for my fellow students by…
    I show respect for the janitor by…
    and so on.

Next, take the best lines and put them together in a poem. Remember to keep the parallel structure by following the same sentence pattern.

Here’s a sample poem that goes beyond showing respect at school:

    How I Show Respect

    I show respect for my parents by thanking them when they help me.
    I show respect for my teachers by not yakking with my friends when they are teaching.
    I show respect for my friends by not making fun of them.
    I show respect for myself by doing the best job I can at school.

If you feel really creative, you can always play Aretha Franklin’s great song, "Respect," and then see if you can rewrite it with school-related lyrics.

But I’ll save that idea for another lesson.


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