Monday’s Muse: List Poetry

03 Feb

I am a chronic list maker. I love writing lists! About everything!  Lists that help me organise my day. Lists of books I want to read or experiences I want to have. Stories I want to write. I sometimes think I like writing the list almost as much as I like crossing items off when they are completed. And because of this, I have found lots of interesting ways to put my lists to work! Why not turn a list into a poem?

Today Monday’s Muse will feature one of my favourite list poems –  guaranteed to have your class writing in no time. It also provides the perfect snapshot into the everyday life of your students. (You could model this poetric structure with Preps and write a list poem together or they could draw their reponses.)


Things I Have Been Doing Lately

List Poetry is a great way to focus your thinking and summarise ideas about any topic at all. In fact, it’s the perfect springboard for sharing what your students did during their summer break.


Things I Have Been Doing Lately

by Allan Ahlberg

Things I have been doing lately:

Pretending to go mad

Eating my own cheeks from the inside

Growing taller

Keeping a secret

Keeping a worm in a jar

Keeping a good dream going

Picking a scab on my elbow

Rolling the cat up in a rug

Blowing bubbles in my spit

Making myself dizzy

Holding my breath

Pressing my eyeballs so I become temporarily blind

Being very nearly ten

Practising my signature

Saving the best till last..


Get the picture? Writing a poem may sound tricky but writing a list? Too Easy!


Ways To Extend This Idea

Believe me, once you start, you’ll want to keep writing list poems so why not get your class to start a list of possible topics?


  • How To Delay Your Bedtime
  • Things You Should Know About Me
  • I Remember


List Poetry encourages your students to catch small details, play with imagery and express their feelings and experiences in a simple, user friendly sort of way. It’s the sort of poetry that really gets your class buzzing and connecting with each other. And isn’t that what writing is all about?

Happy Writing!


After 25 years teaching experience, from Early Childhood to VCE, Beth Cregan combined her passion for books, writing and storytelling to launch ‘Write Away With Me’. Now in its fourth year, Write Away With Me offers a wide range of original and creative storytelling and writing workshops across Victoria. Our high energy workshops cover a wide range of writing styles/genres and a flexible approach, means we can tailor the experience to match the needs of your students and your school. Interested in booking a workshop for your class? Check out our range of storytelling and writing workshops today! Workshops for secondary classes are also available. 



  1. Pingback: I Love Lists: Part 2 | Write Away With Me

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