National Poetry Month: What We’re Writing

National Poetry Month

April is National Poetry Month, and while we are on spring break this week, I am getting together our poetry study for next week. We will be working on three different types of poems, rhyming poems, acrostic poems, and haiku. Rhyming poems are pretty straight-forward. In a couplet, every set of lines has a rhyme at the end, while triplets and quatrains are sets of three or four lines with rhyming patterns like AAA and ABA for triplets, and AABB or ABAB for quatrains. These will be fun and I look forward to seeing what my kiddos come up with. Here are the guidelines for acrostic and haiku poems:

Acrostic Poems

Acrostic poems are fun and easy to write. Choose a subject, and the letters from your word begin each line of the poem. The lines of the poem should tell a story about your word. Here’s an example:

Fish have flippers and fins.

In the ocean and lakes they live.

Swimming, swimming everywhere.

Happily swimming without a care.

Younger children can use short words of course, but you can increase the difficulty of this task by choosing longer words. If you want to add another educational element that increases the difficulty, choose something you’re studying, like the Civil War, and see if they can include facts about their topic in the poem.

Haiku

I remember writing haiku when I was a kid. I liked this style of writing because it didn’t have to rhyme, but still, it could get tricky with the syllable requirements. Here are the guidelines for writing a haiku:

1st Line = 5 syllables

2nd Line = 7 syllables

3rd Line = 5 syllables

Haiku originated in Japan and in their original form, should evoke emotion about nature-related themes, especially the seasons. However, for learning purposes, you can teach your kids the basic structure using any topic. One thing to emphasize is the ability to tell a story or compose a complete thought with limited words. Here’s an example of a haiku:

An old silent pond…
A frog jumps into the pond,
splash! Silence again.

– Bashō

We picked up a few books about poetry that we will use for inspiration. This is what we chose (the links below are affiliate links):

childrens poems  pocket poems  lives  immersed in verse
The Oxford Illustrated Book of American Children’s Poems

Pocket Poems

Lives: Poems About Famous Americans

Immersed In Verse

What activities will you be doing for National Poetry Month?

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