Did you have fun working on alliteration and color poems in last week’s poetry writing challenge? My 6 year old adored making up alliterative sentences! I had to ask him to take a break while we were brushing his teeth because he was getting toothpaste all over his face!
Be sure to read all the details (there aren’t many!) in the introductory post about our easy going poetry writing series, or hop over to the poetry reading challenge if that is more your style.
I must confess that we STILL have not done any actual pen and paper writing! Most of our discussions and poetry composing has been done at the family dinner table or while we are getting ready for bed/ How and when are your working on the challenge? Leave a comment so I don’t feel so alone in this endeavor!
Poetry Writing Challenge #1 – Onomatopoeia
Write a phrase using onomatopoeia.
What is Onomatopoeia? Onomatopoeia is when a word sounds like its meaning. Giggle, thump, fizzle, crack, murmur, gurgle, babble, chortle, fwoosh, meow, chirp.
Here is a classic example:
The watch-dogs bark!
Hark, hark! I hear
The strain of strutting chanticleer
– Shakespeare, The Tempest, Act 1, sc. 2
… and a more contemporary one.
Your can’t make me eat that,
it’s slimy and gooey
and icky and yucky
and greasy and gluey.
– Jack Prelutsky, from “You Can’t Make Me Eat That” in It’s Raining Pigs and Noodles
I simply adore onomatopoeia! It’s so dramatic. However it is very hard to spell! Thank goodness for the cut and paste function.
But I digress.
- Make a list of as many onomatopoetic words you can. Divide them into categories, such as sounds (clank, moo) or perhaps elements (water: gush, burble; air: fwoosh, swish)
- Get physical. Challenge your kids to add a movement to the sound!
- Read a picture book and ask kids to assign an onomatopoetic word to actions in the illustrations. Wordless books are great for this! (See our list of favorite wordless books.)
- Draw pictures of what the words sound like. This could get very abstract!
Poetry Writing Challenge #2 – Rhyming Couplets
Write a 2 line rhyming couplet.
What is a rhyming couplet? A couplet is two lines in which the final word in each line rhymes. Both lines have the same metre.
Here are two examples everyone will know!
I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.
– Joyce Kilmer
Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall
I was a little worried that this might be too hard, but then I realized my silly 6 year old likes to make up rhyming lines like this all the time. I think a more intentional exercise like this will tap into that creativity.
- Use onomatopoeia in your couplet.
- Use alliteration in your couplet. (From week 2)
- Use simile in your couplet. (From week 1)
- Illustrate your couplet.
- Many picture books are written in rhyming couplets. See if your kids can find one on your shelf.
- Ambitious kids and families can write triplets or quatrains!
Don’t forget! Let us know how the challenge is working out for you.