Entries Tagged 'Poetry' ↓

7 Poem in Your Pocket Day Ideas


TOMORROW IS the fabulous Poem in Your Pocket Day!

The idea is simple: select a poem you love during National Poetry Month then carry it with you to share with co-workers, family, and friends [on Poem in Your Pocket Day]. “Poems from pockets will be unfolded throughout the day with events in parks, libraries, schools, workplaces, and bookstores. ~Poet.org

Ideas to Try

I love these little-known but oh-so-celebratory holidays, and there are many clever ways to embrace Poem in Your Pocket Day! With minimal preparation today, you’ll be all set to celebrate tomorrow.

Here are seven simple Poem in Your Pocket Day ideas to explore:

  • Keep a short poem in your pocket. Look at it often and memorize it.
  • Print some favorite poems and pass them out in your community.
  • Distribute bookmarks with your favorite immortal lines.
  • Post a poem on your blog or social networking page.
  • Add a poem to your email footer.
  • Text a poem to friends.
  • Tweet a poem using the hashtag #pocketpoem.

SHARE! What poem will you keep in your pocket on Poem in Your Pocket Day?

Photo: Anthony, courtesy of Creative Commons

Poetry links and resources

Poetry links and resources for kids, including links to poems and resources for reading, writing and memorizing poems

As we continue celebrating National Poetry Month, I’d like to share a few more great (and free) online poetry links and resources with you.

Poetry Links

Poetry-Writing Workshop with Karla Kuskin – Children’s poet Karla Kuskin helps children turn their words and ideas into descriptive and powerful poems.

Ms. Kuskin includes writing tips that she uses when she writes her own poems, as well as ideas children can use to revise their work.

10 Compelling Reasons to Memorize Poetry – Memorizing a poem can be one of the most fulfilling and fun ways to explore poetry.

10 Classic Poems – Some of the world’s most popular classic poems

Poetry Foundation – Browse for poems by title, poet, or subject matter such as “Animals” or “Stars, Planets, Heavens” (both found in the Nature category).

Poetry in Homeschool - Need help incorporating poetry into your homeschooling? Jimmie of Jimmie’s Collage shares ideas, resources, and links.

Poetry-writing Tips for Children (or anyone!) – Plus a bonus list of 20 poetry anthologies to browse

Interactive Word Mover – Using this online too that’s similar to magnetic words, children can move individual words around to create original poems.

Poetry + Letter Writing = Fun

postage samples

Not only is April National Poetry Month, it’s aslo National Card and Letter-Writing Month! Here are two ideas for incorporating poetry and letter writing.

Write a Letter to a Poet – Let the poets who you are reading know that you appreciate their work by sending them a letter.

Put a Poem in a Letter – Next time you send a letter or holiday hello, treat the addressee to a poem as well. You can put a poem directly into the text of your letter or include a typed or handwritten copy in the envelope.

Your Turn

Have you ever memorized a poem? What is one of your favorites?

Experiencing poetry with children

Simple ways your family can incorporate poetry in your homeschool

I’m excited to welcome Mystie Winckler as a guest blogger today as we continue celebrating National Poetry Month

POETRY IS a wonderful component to add to our school days. It develops language patterns, listening skills, and complex thinking ability. Andrew Pudewa writes:

There is perhaps no greater tool than memorization to seal language patterns into a human brain, and there is perhaps nothing more effective than poetry to provide exactly what we want: reliably correct and sophisticated language patterns.

But poetry can also be intimidating.

Here are some simple steps that my family has taken to incorporate poetry in our homeschool. [Please note that this post contains affiliate links to poetry resources we think your family will love.]

Particularly when the children are elementary and younger, focus on introducing and enjoying poems together. Don’t worry about analysis or interpretation or even comprehension. Just let them experience and enjoy poetry at their own level.

Allow the time and space for love and taste to develop before teaching content and analysis. Then the analysis in later years will be more like sharing thoughts about common friends and less like dissecting a dead frog.

Mystie Winckler is a wife, mother, homemaker, and home-educator. Mystie has been married for ten years to her only sweetheart, Matt, a software programmer and web developer; both Matt & Mystie were homeschool graduates themselves. Now they raise & educate their four-going-on-five children. Mystie blogs at Simply Convivial on homemaking, home-educating, reading, and organizing.

4 ways kids can celebrate National Poetry Month

Fun ways to celebrate National Poetry Month with kids!

April is National Poetry Month. Here at In Our Write Minds, I’m posting a different poetry activity or tip list each week to help you incorporate more poetry into your homeschooling.

Pick one or two of these activities to do with your children to celebrate this special literary month. Together, discover the joy of poetry! [Psst … this post contains affiliate links to poetry resources I’m confident your family will enjoy.]

1. Write Magnetic Poems

Kick off National Poetry Month with your kids by putting up a magnet board (a cookie sheet works great) with magnetic words and encourage family members to create their own poems.  Get them started by reading short poems together and posting some of them near the magnet board.

Celebrate National Poetry Month with a fun magnetic poetry kit for kids!Check out these fun magnetic word kits:

2. Enter a Poetry Contest

Encourage your budding poets to enter a contest. Here are several to consider:

Warning: There are lots of poetry contests out there, but they’re not all worth entering. Steer clear of bad poetry contests!

3. Hit the Library

April 8-14, 2012 also happens to be National Library Week! Check out several poetry anthologies from the library and keep them in a basket or on a shelf, along with pads of paper and pencils.

Encourage your children to read several poems each day, writing down the titles and authors of their favorites. When you return the anthologies, have each child check out a book of poems by just one author. For example, if your child wrote down a Shel Silverstein poem on her list, she may want to check out Where the Sidewalk Ends, A Light in the Attic, or another book of poetry by Silverstein.

4. Host a Poetry Slam

A poetry slam is a competition where poets read or recite their original work. Host an open mic night or poetry slam where children are encouraged to share their own poems with family, friends, or your homeschool group. Enjoy homemade treats and present awards for “Most Original Poem,” “Best Use of Rhyme,”  “Happiest Poem,” or “Best Alliteration.” Give these a try! When you enjoy, share, and celebrate poetry, you begin building a lifelong appreciation for this well-loved genre.

Your Turn

Share one thing your family or classroom is doing to celebrate poetry this month. 

Photo: c.e. delohery, courtesy of Creative Commons

“Never” poems | Write a silly poem

What funny things would your kids "never" do? Let those ideas inspire them to write a silly poem

APRIL IS National Poetry Month. In honor of the occasion, I thought it would be fun to introduce some new poetry activities!

Today, why not have your children write a silly poem? With only a few simple rules to get them started, they should produce some gems in no time at all.


When your children write their “Never” poems, they will need to choose a consonant sound to repeat using alliteration.

al·lit·er·a·tion is the repetition of a consonant sound at the beginning of a word.

Betty Botter bought some butter,
But,” she said, “the butter’s bitter.”

Charlotte shared her sugar
With a shaggy sheep named Shane.


To write your “Never Poem,” you will write one sentence for each of the following, repeating your chosen consonant sound as many times as possible.

  1. Something you would never eat.
  2. Something you would never wear.
  3. Something you would never buy.
  4. Something you would never do.
  5. Someplace you would never go.
  6. Something you would always like to think about.
  7. “And I promise you I will never …”

Once their poems are finished, invite them to choose some words from the poem and write a title.

Of Blue Biscuits and Bouncing Balls

I would never eat blue biscuits.
I would never wear a baggy beaded bonnet with brown buttons.
I would never buy a blind baboon’s broken bicycle.
I would never read a book about boat-building in Bulgaria.
I would never go to Brooklyn to get bologna.
I would always like to think about bouncing balls in the bathtub.
And I promise I will never let Bubba’s bunny eat barbecued beans for breakfast.

Your Turn

Poetry should be shared! I hope you’ll post your kids’ “Never Poems” in the comments.

. . . . .

Photo of blue ball © Sharyn Morrow. Used by permission.

Writing activity centers: Part 2

Writing activity centers are a great way to reinforce the formal composition skills you’re teaching in your curriculum. They’ll give your kids more practice writing in a fun, relaxed setting. Here’s the second post in our four-part series.

with her own two hands

Clay Creatures

Mold and sculpt figurines from modeling clay or dough. When they’re finished, write five words or phrases describing the figures.

Family Poetry Jam

Place books of poetry in a basket for examples and inspiration. Supply paper, pencils, and colored markers for your children to write poems about family members, topics of study, or any subject they wish. Use other poems as a guide or invent new formats. When finished, dim the lights, spread out comfortable pillows on the floor, and host a poetry reading. Serve milk and cookies!

[Kim says: Looking for a great poetry resource? The Random House Book of Poetry for Children has been our family’s favorite. Compiled by Jack Prelutsky, this anthology is a delightful collection of both classic and contemporary poems children love. My own well loved copy has literally fallen apart!]

The Further Adventures of…

Collect a set of picture books with interesting, appealing characters. Read a book aloud, and then continue the story on paper, with additional adventures of a favorite character. Create imaginary illustrations and colorful covers for these new tales.

Order, Order, Please!

Provide envelopes of pre-written sentence strips, each envelope containing the lines of a familiar poem. Have the kids work together to read the sentences and figure out the correct sequence of each poem. Provide copies of the poems for the kids to check their efforts.

Pasta Punctuation

Each child writes sentences on construction paper. Using a variety of pasta shapes such as elbow macaroni, orzo, and linguini, have the kids glue on the “punctuation” where necessary. The children should incorporate all the punctuation marks they’ve been taught to this point: periods, question marks, commas, quotation marks, exclamation marks, and/or apostrophes.

How Do You Do It?

Ask your children to think of experiences they’ve had in which they’ve learned to do something all by themselves. Perhaps it was the first time they rode a bike without training wheels, learned to tie their shoes, or did the laundry on their own. Ask them to write a set of directions teaching someone else how to do this specific action. Illustrate the directions to provide more details. Then, have each child “teach” another child using his or her instructional page.

“I’m Thinking of…”

Each child writes a very specific description of an object nearby, whether in the living room, kitchen, etc., without actually naming the object itself. When finished, read the descriptions aloud and see who can identify the items described.

Related Post: Writing Activity Centers: Part 1, Writing Activity Centers: Part 3

. . . . .

Janet Wagner is a regular contributor to In Our Write Minds. For over two decades, Janet was an elementary and middle school teacher in two Christian academies, a public district school, and a public charter school. She also had the honor of helping to homeschool her two nieces. Janet and her husband Dean live on the family farm in the Piedmont region of north central North Carolina. Currently, she enjoys a flexible life of homemaking, volunteering, reading, writing, tutoring students and training dogs, and learning how to build websites. You can view her web work-in-progress at www.creative-writing-ideas-and-activities.com.

The “Looks Like” Game

Sultry spring breezes drifted through the open windows, swaying the blinds, teasing our noses with the perfume of honeysuckle and wild roses. It was hard to maintain concentration on American constitutional history. Competing for attention, the open textbooks on our desks lost to the wide-open world outside.

“Hey, Mrs. Wagner! Can we go outdoors and play the “Looks Like” game?” one student pleaded. He was joined by a chorus of “Please?”

“Sounds good to me!” I don’t know of any human being immune to the southern springtime scent of honeysuckle and wild roses.

Playing the “Looks Like” Game

The “Looks Like” game was a favorite metaphor exercise. Kids played the game everywhere: on the bus, in the classroom, and always outdoors. A quick method of jumping into creative images, it freed imaginations even within my most self-proclaimed “unimaginative’ kids.

We grabbed notebooks and pens, scattering into small groups.

Clouds drifted, veiling the sun, then rolled on again. “The sun looks like a puppy wrestling with the laundry,” a child wrote.

Leaves rustled against an azure sky. Another student jotted, “The trees look like feather dusters, cleaning the clouds.”

Dogwood petals and honey locust blossoms scattered across the fields. “The blossoms look like sprinkled soap powder,” penned a young lady.

Back inside our classroom, the kids’ metaphors birthed the images of a new group poem:

Spring Cleaning

The sun hides in a basket of clouds,
                 a puppy playing in the laundry.
Trees dust the sky,
                sprinkling soap powder blossoms
                over the earth’s green carpet.

As the kids demonstrated that day, we naturally see things metaphorically. We constantly compare the way one thing looks to another. Comparison is custom-built into our language. Writing a poem can be as simple as bringing images together through metaphor and simile.

Today with your children, grab pen and paper and play the “Looks Like” game.

What do you see around you? Focus on details and write down:

  • I see __________
  • It looks like __________
  • I see __________
  • It looks like __________

Keep going!

What shared poem will you and your kids write together today to mark a wonderful day of living? Post your poems here in our comment section!

You might also enjoy:

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Janet Wagner is a contributor to In Our Write Minds. For over two decades, Janet was an elementary and middle school teacher in two Christian academies, a public district school, and a public charter school. She also had the honor of helping to homeschool her two nieces. Janet and her husband Dean live on the family farm in the Piedmont region of north central North Carolina. Currently, she enjoys a flexible life of homemaking, volunteering, reading, writing, tutoring students and training dogs, and learning how to build websites. You can view her web work-in-progress at www.creative-writing-ideas-and-activities.com.

How to write a Christmas carol haiku

How to Write a Christmas Carol Haiku

Haiku poems may be short in length, but they’re long on vivid

description and imagery that make the most of every word.

Though there are variations, the typical haiku poem contains three lines with a specific syllabic pattern:

Line 1 = 5 syllables
Line 2 = 7 syllables
Line 3 = 5 syllables

For a special holiday twist on the traditional nature-themed haiku, invite your children to pattern a haiku poem after a Christmas carol. This can be challenging, making it a good activity for teens, but younger children might also enjoy giving it a try.

Since it’s rare for the lines of a carol to match the requirement of 5-7-5 syllables, they’ll need to do some creative rearranging of words and lines. Just make sure they stay true to the message of the original song.

Tips for Turning a Carol into a Haiku

Add or remove words to create an accurate syllable count.

O what Child is this (5)
On His mother’s lap, sleeping? (7)
He’s the King of Kings. (5)

Silent, holy night (5)
The Virgin Mother and Child (7)
Sleep in perfect peace. (5)

Hint: If the line has too many or too few syllables, find a synonym or replacement for one of the words. Sleep in heavenly peace contains 6 syllables, but by changing heavenly to perfect, the line now has 5 syllables. Sometimes a thesaurus will be useful in helping your child find an alternate word.

Swap the order of the lines.

Earth receives her King (5)
Ev’ry heart prepares Him room (7)
Joy to the world. Joy! (5)

Pick and choose lines from the carol.

Hark! The angels sing (5)
Glory to the newborn King (7)
Join in the triumph. (5)

Babe in a manger (5)
Jesus lay down His sweet head (7)
Asleep in the hay. (5)

Combine ideas from several lines of the carol.

Town of Bethlehem… (5)
Tonight, everlasting light (7)
Shines in your dark streets (5)

O red-nosed Rudolph (5)
It’s a foggy Christmas Eve (7)
Drive my sleigh tonight. (5)

Dashing through the snow (5)
In a one-horse open sleigh (7)
O’er the fields, laughing. (5)

Choose a lesser-known verse from the carol.

Come to Bethlehem (5)
Worship Christ on bended knee (7)
He whom angels laud. (5)
(based on “Angels We Have Heard on High”)

. . . . .

Need some ideas to get you started? Ambleside Online’s Holiday Carol Book and Caroling Corner list dozens of popular (as well as lesser-known) Christmas songs, along with lyrics, to inspire your young poets.

Copyright 2010 © Kim Kautzer. All rights reserved.

Page copy protected against web site content infringement by Copyscape

Oh, deer: English language silliness

   The English Language

A pretty deer is dear to me,
   A hare with downy hair;
A hart I love with all my heart,
   But I can barely bear a bear.

‘Tis plain that no one takes a plane
   To have a pair of pears.
All rays raise thyme, time razes all;
   And through the whole, hole wears.

A writ, in writing “right” may write
   It “wright” and still be wrong—
For “write” and “rite” are neither “right,”
   And don’t to write belong.

Beer often brings a bier to man,
   Coughing a coffin brings,
And too much ale will make us ail,
   As well as other things.

The person lies who says he lies
   When he is but reclining;
And, when consumptive folks decline,
   They all decline declining.

A quail won’t quail before a storm—
   A bough will bow before it;
We can not rein the rain at all—
   No earthly power reigns o’er it.

The dyer dyes awhile, then dies;
   To dye he’s always trying,
Until upon his dying-bed
   He thinks no more of dyeing.

A son of Mars mars many a sun;
   All days must have their days,
And every knight should pray each night
   To Him who weighs his ways.

‘Tis meet that man should mete out meat
   To feed misfortune’s son;
The fair should fare on love alone,
   Else one can not be won.

The springs spring forth in Spring, and shoots
   Shoot forward one and all;
Though Summer kills the flowers, it leaves
   The leaves to fall in Fall.

I would a story here commence,
   But you might think it stale;
So we’ll suppose that we have reached
   The tail end of our tale.

From Eclectic Magazine, January 1881

. . . . .

The author of this poem uses many homophones to create plays on words. But if some of these homophones regularly give your children trouble, consider All About Homophones, a wonderful resource that clearly teaches homophone spelling rules with fun games and activities. Contains exercises for grades 1-8.

Spring word bank


by Karla Kuskin

I’m shouting
I’m singing
I’m swinging through trees
I’m winging skyhigh
With the buzzing black bees.
I’m the sun
I’m the moon
I’m the dew on the rose.
I’m a rabbit
Whose habit
Is twitching his nose.
I’m lively
I’m lovely
I’m kicking my heels.
I’m crying “Come Dance”
To the fresh water eels.
I’m racing through meadows
Without any coat
I’m a gamboling lamb
I’m a light leaping goat
I’m a bud
I’m a bloom
I’m a dove on the wing.
I’m running on rooftops
And welcoming spring!

From In the Middle of the Trees by Karla Kuskin.
Copyright © 1959, renewed 1986 by Karla Kuskin.

Welcoming Spring

Spring is here, and I’m loving it! Every week brings something new to my garden: The grass is thickening and greening up. Our silver maples, usually waiting till May, are in full leaf—just behind the birch trees, fruitless mulberry, and white alders. Daisies, sweet alyssum, and vivid impatiens dance in pots on my porch and patio. A consortium of snails meets on the front walk every morning. And a good drenching rain each week is keeping everything blooming and blossoming.

A Spring Word Bank

There’s so much to write about in spring. Even if your children have been weakened by a bout of spring fever, a word list filled with fresh, cheerful spring vocabulary will help motivate them to describe the season in all its glory. If you’ve enjoyed our other seasonal word banks, you’ll love this one too!

Seasonal Fun

spring, springtime, season, weather, March, April, May, galoshes, hat, jacket, rain boots, raincoat, slicker, umbrella, baseball, bike, kite, roller skates, sidewalk

Over in the Meadow

creek, gurgle, icy, pond, puddles, seep, splash, stream, trickle; copse, dale, earth, farm, field, furrow, garden, hill, loam, meadow, mud, mulch, ooze, orchard, row, soil, trees, vale, valley, woods; apple blossom, bulb, bud, cherry blossom, crocus, daffodil, daisy, flower, grass, grassy, iris, leaf, leaves, lily, maple, pansy, petals, plants, sap, sapling, seed, seedling, shoot, snowdrop, sweet pea, tulip, twig, violet; chard, lettuce, peas, fence, hoe, spade, watering can, wheelbarrow

Welcoming New Life

babies, baby, born, birth, new life, newborn, animals, birds, nature; downy, feathery, fluffy, gentle, soft, tender; bee, bluebird, bunny, butterfly, calf, caterpillar, chick, duck, duckling, eggs, fawn, finch, flock, foal, frog, hatchling, ladybug, lamb, polliwog, scarlet tanager, slug, snail, robin, tadpole, worm; barn, henhouse, nest

In Like a Lion, out Like a Lamb

airy, blow, breeze, bright, brilliant, brisk, cheerful, chilly, clean, clear, clouds, cool, drip, drizzle, fair, fresh, melt, new, rain, rainbow, showers, sky, sparkling, sunny, sunshine, thaw, verdant, vivid, warm, warming, wind, windy, blue, brown, green, pink, white, yellow

Feelin’ Like Frolicking 

blooming, blossoming, bobbing, budding, building, buzzing, cavorting, chirping, darting, digging, dipping, diving, flapping, flourishing, flying, frolicking, gamboling, gardening, germinating, growing, hatching, hoeing, leafing, leaping, nesting, planting, playing, pruning, romping, running, scampering, singing, spading, sprouting, sugaring, swimming, teeming, tilling, waving, winging

Copyright 2010 © Kim Kautzer. All rights reserved.

Page copy protected against web site content infringement by Copyscape

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Share a comment: What does spring look like outside your window today? Pick 5-10 words from the Spring Word Bank that describe spring at your house, and list them in the Comments section.

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