Why Use This Tip
What To Do
Why Use This Tip
Children recognize the power of poetryits ability to inspire emotions and the special pleasure you can get from memorizing a favorite poem or reading it again and again. But children may not know where to start in writing their own poems. And they may not realize that poems come in a wide variety of flavorsfrom succinct haikus, to ones that follow conventions of word choice and line length, to the-sky-is-the-limit free verse.
Help a child recognize the elements of a poem and explore different ways of writing one, and you'll also enable the child to become more familiar with the meaning of words and sentences, sentence structure, rhymes, and vocabulary. Plus, in writing poetry, a child will discover a new, limitless world of expression that's just as fun to share with others as it is to create.
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What To Do
- Choose some books of poetry (see Additional Poetry Resources for some suggestions). Read some poems aloud with the child. Talk about where each line of the poem ends and how it creates rhythm, affects the meaning of the poem, and might even make the poem look a particular way.
- Sing a favorite song together and write down the lyrics. Then ask the child to write a poem that he or she could sing to the melody of the song. Use the structure of the original lyrics as a guide.
- Go on a neighborhood poetry walk. Stop at various pointsthe park, the street corner, the newsstandand ask the child to write a sentence or two that describes what he or she sees. Back at home, the child can revise and shorten those sentences and turn them into a poem.
- Show the child how to write an acrostic poem, in which the first letter of each line spells out his or her name, when read top to bottom. Once the child writes a poem based on his or her own name, the child can write about family members, friends, or pets.
- Make a slideshow poem. Have the child photograph a series of five to ten pictures (based on a common theme or during a trip). Import the photos into a multimedia software program such as PowerPoint, iPhoto, or Photo Story and ask the child to write a poem by posting a word or two with each image. Add special effects, transitions, or music to enhance the slideshow.
- Show an older child how to write a found poem, using the Found Poem Instructions. Found poems take existing text (e.g., from a passage in a book, a magazine article, a sign, a letter) and condense and reorder the words to form a new poem. Help the child select a paragraph or two from a favorite book and turn it into a found poem.
- Introduce the rhyming dictionary at Poetry4Kids.com and a thesaurus as helpful tools for writing poetry.
- Explore different types and even shapes of poems. For younger children, the three-line haiku (five words/seven words/five words) is a fun way to start. Older children may want to experiment with formats like the diamante, a seven-line poem that is shaped like a diamond (see Related Resources for an online Diamante Poems tool).
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These fun, ready-to-print poetry activities are the perfect tools to bring words to life. Use these reproducibles to teach new concepts, reinforce past lessons, and inspire creativity.
Poem in Your Pocket Template
After introducing budding writers to the sounds and styles of poetry, invite them to copy down their favorite verse or write a new poem of their own and keep it their pockets to share with friends using this reproducible.
Creepy Crawlies: Pick a Poem
The poetry in Creepy Crawlies has been thoughtfully written and compiled with kindergarten to second grade children clearly in mind. Variety, usability, and fun topped the list of considerations in selecting or creating each and every poem.
From the brash, crash BLUNDER of thunder to a steaming, sizzling summery day, these poems will inspire students to write their own descriptive verses about the weather.
Create a Shape Poem About Soccer
After first organizing their soccer related words and descriptive and rhyming words, students fill the empty soccer ball with a shape poem.
My Biography Poem
Students will fill in the blanks of this outline to create poems about themselves.
My Five Senses Poem
Review the five senses and practice descriptive writing with this quick poem template for young students.
Poetry With a Twist
Starting with a distinct shape, students build a poem by brainstorming words, feelings, and activities associated with that shape. For a twist, students then rewrite the poem in a different style. This activity is based on Love That Dog by Sharon Creech.
Students write a poem together, line by line, using only the previous student's final word as inspiration!
This chart will help students evaluate the first drafts of their poems before revising.
Writing a Sestina
This complicated poetry form is difficult to compose! This outline will help students craft their own sestinas.