Children's Poetry

Original children's poetry and artwork, and tips for writing poetry.

A spider activity rhyme


Though different in color,

these spiders are brothers.

But find the difference

in one from the others!

This activity is based on the poem, Spider's Bed, from my book called Dozy Poems, Cozy Days:


"Spider's web, silky bed, 

Linked from branch to bush by thread.

Silver gauze, whisper thin, 

Swaying gently in the wind.

Stretching soft to fill the gap 

Between the sun and moon- 

A nap."



Now it's your turn! Write a directive, or activity instructions, in a rhyme like I did above. It's easier than you think! Here's are a couple short simple examples:


"I implore -

Shut the door!

(Thank you!)."


"Find your way through the maze

Of the colorful carnival craze...."



Poetry likes similes and metaphors. Read a variety of authors' poems and see if you can pick out the similes like the ones shown here. 


The more you read poetry, the better poet you will become!




Want an example of a metaphor? Here's my porcupine poem-







The Porcupine Poem


Spiky-spine porcupine

with a bristly, thistly back,

curls up tight in a bramble ball -

a prickly needle stack.








"Not what Miss Ross had in mind when after the English quiz she told Billy to "Hit the books!"


I'VE HAD FUN DOODLING AND 'CARTOONING'  FOR A FEW KIDS MAGAZINES! 


ANYTHING FUNNY OR JUST SILLY COME TO MIND? TRY DRAWING IT!


SOMETIMES A PHRASE WILL INITIATE  OR GIVE YOU AN IDEA FOR A WHOLE POEM!


I WROTE A POEM ABOUT BASEBALL AFTER I DID THIS CARTOON.





This is simple shape poetry. 


It's just one word shown in its own meaning by its formation.

Pick a bug, any bug - write a poem about it! Do bugs creep you out or do you find them fascinating? 

 LITTLE LADYBUG'S FLIGHT 

by Raven Howell

A ladybug in a rain puddle

Struggled to stay afloat.

I propped a leaf under her feet

- a little makeshift boat! 

Then the little lady stretched her wings,

Before away she flew,

And seemed to turn and nod to me

As if to say, "Thank you!" 

POETRY IDEAS:

How about writing a persona poem? It's a poem written in the "voice" of someone or something else, written from the viewpoint of another being. My poem above is written from my point of view, but I wrote a poem called Ant's Journey that was published in Spider Magazine, and has been used many times in national state education booklets because it's a good example of a persona poem, written from the viewpoint of the ants.

Try the following: 

When your cat's hungry, what do you think he's saying to you when he looks up and meows? Write a funny verse about it!

If you add a new goldfish to your fishbowl, what do you imagine your old goldfish is thinking? Write a poem about its point of view! 


WANT TO HEAR SOMETHING REALLY CRAZY? 
Words can make music and sound!

Have you ever heard of the word, onomatopoeia? I bet you're twisting your tongue just to try to pronounce it!  In poetry, onomatopoeia is the way we use words to describe or imitate certain sounds. It can be fun to play with! 

This is my duck poem example:

 

duck feet

waddle, waddle,

plop, plop,

paddle, paddle 

What do you like better?  Poems that rhyme, or free verse, which is poetry that has no rhythmic (meter) pattern, or rhyme?


RHYMING POETRY:

Raindrops on umbrellas thud,      

Piggy's playing in the mud!

 


FREE VERSE:

The clouds spring leaks                          

To the enjoyment of some;                

Even I like to slosh through puddles! 

TIPS FOR CREATING YOUR OWN POEMS

LET'S START WITH  IDEAS!

Look for ideas everywhere!  Pay attention to the world around you - little things, big things, people, animals, buildings, events, nature - anything you see, hear, taste, smell, feel or observe.  Be alert.  You never know when a good idea will sneak up on you!

Create opportunities to focus on your thoughts.  When writers get ideas, they write them down quickly!

WHERE ARE THOSE IDEAS?

You may get an idea for a poem from an unusual looking leaf, or from a painting or picture you've seen, or from a word you like, or something you feel passionate about. Maybe you can find a new way of looking at an ordinary thing.  I've read the best poems about paper clips and toaster ovens! For instance, you can compare a stapler to little teeth that chomp down on paper.

WHEN AM I GOING TO GET IDEAS?

Most of the time, if you focus on looking for an idea by being open to it, the idea will come to you.  Try not to strain to find something, but instead move toward the things that interest or fascinate you.  It's so important to write what you know about, especially when you're just beginning to write poetry.  It will help your words flow, and you will have lots to 'say'.

Many of my ideas come when I'm driving or riding in the car.  I also get lots of ideas while I walk my dog.  Pay attention to those times you feel inspired, and act on it.  You may be taking a shower when the subject of your poem decides to pop in your mind! 

CELEBRATIONS! 
Send a friend or family member a card with a poem you wrote. 

Example:

Happy Birthday!

Joy and cheer;

Candles lit

For every year!

Write your poem out in a card or type it in an email greeting.  Remember to sign your name to it to make sure you get credit for your writing!  Add some artwork or draw a picture with your poetry, and I have no doubt your card will be cherished and admired by the receiver. 

FINALLY, GIVE YOUR IDEAS TIME TO SPARK UP AND SET THE SKY AGLOW!

Perhaps you've found a word or sentence you have overheard or read that strikes you as strange, funny, beautiful or unusual.  Write it down. Before you continue, think about what you want your whole poem to say.  Remember, there are many different kinds of poems you can write.  Read other people's poems, and figure out what types of poems you like best, and what type of poem you are ready to create!

 

My poem, Thunder, was  published in a children's magazine called Bumples.  As far as the idea and whole lay-out of the poem, I was thinking about how monstrous the sound and feel of thunder can be on a dark night.

I got the idea during a storm in which the neighborhood, including my house, lost electrical power.  Even though the storm was loud and boisterous outside, I knew we were safe, and that the storm would pass.  With that in mind, I decided to write about how thunder can roar like a lion and appear scary, but in the end, it settles down, moves on, or simply fades away.  In the poem, I 'speak' to the thunder, asking it to just quiet down for a bit so that we can fall asleep again.

 If you were to 'talk' to the thunder, what would you say? 

Look at my drawing of lightning above.  Write a poem about it! 

Welcome!

Where You'll Find What

To learn about my writing and poetry background, go to About Me.  

For my published work, poetry and art samples and displays, go to the Gallery.

Teachers looking for guidance, go to the Lounge area.

Kids, if you're a beginning or independent reader, go to your Locker.

If you're younger, there are lots of surprises in your Cubby! This is a great place for parents and grandparents.


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