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Word of the Day, Prose Poems, and Letter Poems

It is the penultimate week of National Poetry Month. Here are some more poetry activities to keep your kiddos engaged:

1. Help your kiddo subscribe to Word Central’s word of the day (the site also has some fun word games for kids):

Today’s word of the day is “quagmire,” but your kiddos can look at the site on any day (or get the word in their inbox if they subscribe) and use the new word for the following activity. Once they have read the definition, the sentence that demonstrates usage, and completed the quiz, ask them to use the word as the title and theme of their poem. As an extra challenge ask them to write at least two quatrains (2 four line stanzas) that use a rhyming pattern of abab, abba or aabb.

2. Poetry doesn’t always have to be written in verse lines. Prose poems use poetic traits such as simile, metaphor, and other figurative language. Ask your kiddo to read some examples of prose poems. Here are a few to get started:

Ask your kiddo to keep track of all of the parts of the prose that seem “poetic.” Next, ask them to summarize the prose poem in more direct or literal language. For a final activity have them reread “Information” by Ignatow and write a prose poem about something they can count other than the things mentioned in Ignatow’s poem.

3. Ask your kiddo to read William Carlos Williams’ famous letter poem, “This is Just to Say”:

Ask your kiddos to pay attention to the line breaks in the poem as they read. Next, ask them to summarize the letter. To whom is it written? Is the author of the poem really apologizing for eating all of the plums? Why or why not? Next ask them to write their own letter poem to someone using line breaks to add the magic of poetry to their letters.

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