Looking for a fun way to introduce poetry in your homeschool? Also want to sneak spelling, penmanship, vocabulary, antonyms and parts of speech into the play?
Here are some creative poetry exercises that will fit the bill.
- Revised rhymes: Get out a book of nursery rhymes or short poems (try e.e. cummings or Emily Dickinson) and have your child copy three of them down. Now tell your child to cross out as many words as possible and replace them with synonyms (words with the same meaning) or antonyms (opposites). Then read the revised poem out loud.
- Pot luck poems: Have your children write out lots of words and phrases on slips of paper. Ask them to do noun phrases (such as “a giant duck”) and verb phrases (such as “running wildly”), along with adjectives (describing words like green and crazy), adverbs (describing words for verbs like angrily), conjunctions (and, but…) and articles (a, an, the). Aim for lots of them! Then put all the slips of paper in a bag, box or hat and start pulling them out. Try to arrange them into a poem and tinker with them until it feels right. Write out the finished poems and then scramble the papers and try again.
- Tattoo poems: Give your kids some washable markers and challenge them to write words that describe themselves on their hands, soles of their feet or another body part. When they’re done, have them quickly dip the body part in water and then press it on a blank piece of paper and make a print of it. It won’t be clear but that’s fine. Once it’s dry, ask them to use as many words from the tattoo as possible in a poem about themselves.
- Snow or sand haiku: Take advantage of the day’s weather and ask your child to write a haiku (a three line poem with 5 syllables on the first line, 7 on the second, and 5 on the last) about snow, summer or another aspect of the current weather and then use a stick to write it out in the snow or mud in the back yard or in sand at the beach. Take a picture of your child’s ephemeral (not permanent) poem.
- Found poems: Give your children old magazines, newspapers or ruined books and a highlighter. Have them highlight words and phrases that seem like they’d make a fun or interesting poem, and then write the poem out in fancy lettering on a piece of paper. Even toddlers and preschoolers can get into the fun with this one, randomly highlighting things that you can read to the kids in your finest poetry reading voice once enough are highlighted (often for a lot of giggles). If you like, give each child a blank journal or notebook to record the poems.