Skip to main content

Some ways to enliven your instruction

• Ask students to substitute their own words, (adjectives, verbs) in a given passage that you have presented them. Then ask them to do the same in a passage of their own writing.

• Ask your students to rewrite a sentence in a number of different ways, such as rearranging word order, altering vocabulary, adding details, replacing generalizations with specific details, etc.

• You may simply ask students to imitate the style of known writers and poets and then innovate on the given text, using the ideas mentioned previously. These altered poems provide children with the opportunity to substitute words and phrases within a given framework.

• Expanding simple sentences. Give your students opportunities to expand a simple sentence into a whole story or poem.

• Encourage your children to scan the dictionary looking for words that could be the idea or spark for a poem.

• Create tongue twisting lists of alliterative speech.

• Try going chopping! Prose chopping that is; Provide your students with a prose passage and invite them to break it into free verse lines. This helps them to control the poets line and provides an opportunity to look more closely at the prose. They may begin to edit some words as they remodel the layout.

Some Quick Poetic Possibilities

• Fill the air with energy by reading one of your very own favorite poems.

• Have your students stare at a picture or an object very closely for one minute then ask them to write what ever thought are in their head at the moment.

• Use your initials to create groups of words. Each new group of words should contain words not previously used. How many combination can you create?. The idea is to create word combinations that are humorous, surprising, beautiful, in their collectiveness.

• Free writing, Speed writing, Rocket writing are all wonderful ways to free up the flow of ideas. Ask your students to write as much as they can on a given subject. The writing produced can serve as a basis for further writing.

• To get students thinking about a topic or idea ask them to write lists of words, phrases or facts related to the given topic.


Popular posts from this blog

The Old Jalopy POEM

Ideas exist in things, so the saying goes. This poem owes it's beginnings to a recent sighting of vintage cars driving in a parade through my town. As I stood watching these well preserved senior citizens of the road, my thoughts returned to our first family car all those years ago. We had an Austin A 40 and it was a rather cantankerous machine. It could be relied upon to shake and rattle when asked to travel at any speed above 'slow.' It required constant care and attention and sometimes without warning it would begin a convulsive lurch when out on the highway. 

 So, before I even finished watching the car parade, ideas began forming in my head. The word 'jalopy' floated forward and I found myself immediately in the poem zone. Sometimes a single word is all you need to get ideas flowing. Let me share what I built...

The Old Jalopy
Dad looks stressed Mum looks stroppy We're going for a drive In our old jalopy Kids pile in Dogs in tow Shut the doors And we're set to g…

List Poems Are Easy To Like

A list poem is one of the easiest kinds of poems to write because it doesn't require a set rhythm or rhyme. But that doesn't mean you should write anything down helter- skelter.

Consider the inclusion of the following elements to make a list poem a poem instead of just a list:

• The writer is telling you something--pointing something out--saying, "Look at this," or, "Think about this."
• There's a beginning and end to it, like in a story.
• In other words, the poem needs to make sense and have some kind of flow to it.

List poems provide an easy and successful structure to get children feeling more comfortable with poetry. They are to be found in the poetry of many cultures and have been employed successfully by many contemporary poets.

Poetry is full of surprises. List also need to be full of surprises. Without the occasional surprise your list poems will have all the appeal of a supermarket shopping list on a day when you don't want to go shopping!

Here …

Opposite Poems

Opposite Poems

In his book, 'How To Write Poetry,' Paul Janeczko presents the idea of opposite poems. Paul suggests they could also be referred to as antonym poems. This is wordplay and it's fun to try.

Here are some examples Paul provides to help us see very clearly how these short little poems work.

I think the opposite of chair
Is sitting down with nothing there

What is the opposite of kind?
A goat that butts you from behind

Paul Janeczko

You will  notice the poems are written in rhyming couplets. They can be extended so long as you remember to write in couplets. Paul shows us how this is done.

What is the opposite of new?
Stale gum that's hard to chew
A hot-dog roll as hard as rock
Or a soiled and smelly forgotten sock

You might notice that some of Paul's opposite Poems begin with a question. The remainder of the poem answer the question posed.

Opposite poems are a challenge, but it is a challenge worth trying. Not every thing has an opposite and not every word has an easy t…