Sunday, April 10, 2005

Children's Poetry Week

What timing! I received a fantastic poem written by a seven year old child this weekend. I really wish I could post it here. It was about a cake batter ballerina and the imagery was phenomenal. It was hard to believe someone so young wrote such a beautiful piece. Her mom said that the writer came up with the image while baking a cake. Then, they talked about the steps that took place. What happened next. What happened to the cake batter ballerina, etc. They took notes and then selected the best images and placed them in order. I really wish I could post it here, but I'm going to recommend that she send it to one of the markets that publishes work by children.

I found a wonderful article a few weeks ago that explains how to rhyme properly when writing a picture book. For some reason, this clicked for me. I have no idea why I've made this so difficult in the past.

Check out these great "how to" articles to help children write poetry.

And, these sites with poems for kids.

And, poetry activities and lessons from poets at

Anyone can write poetry. (Well, you might not love your first attempts, but it's not that hard! As with anything, it takes practice.) Contrary to what many of us were taught, poetry doesn't have to rhyme. In honor of Children's Poetry Week, try out these exercises:

For younger kids--try a 5 senses poem about Spring or April or Rain. Describe how it tastes, looks, smells, sounds and what it feels like.

Try an acrostic using any word you like. If you need an idea, start with Spring, April, Rain, Poem, Bird or Nest. When writing an acrostic, list each letter in the word vertically. Then, start each line of the poem with that letter.

Pretty words
Open my eyes and beg me to
Explore the world around
Me in unusual ways.

For older kids, you might try a limerick, a 5 line poem with the following pattern:

Line 1 - A -- (long) usually 7 or 8 syllables
Line 2- A-- (long) usually 7 or 8 syllables
Line 3- B -- (short) usually 5 or 6 syllables
Line 4- B--(short) usually 5 or 6 syllables
Line 5- A--(long) usually 7 or 8 syllables

As in:

I listened as birds made a nest.
The outcome was worse than I'd guessed.
I opened the grill.
And found a straw hill.
Burgers without twigs taste the best.


I ran with my kite in the breeze.
It sailed on air with such ease.
I dashed and I tripped.
I tumbled and slipped.
Now string is wound round my knees.

I'm not suggesting my poems are good, but they are sure fun to write! Have a great Monday!

Oh, and here's a poem A wrote about rain:

Pit. Pat. It sounds like the rain.
Thump. Thump. It sounds like thunder.
Kazzz. Kazzzz. Sounds like lightning.
If it rains and the sun is out, you might see a rainbow.
You might think about flowers.


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