Welcome to the second annual What Do We Do All Day? poetry challenge for National Poetry Month. Last year’s challenge was all about getting you to start reading poetry on a regular basis with your kids and this year we are going to focus on writing. Don’t worry, it will be super simple! After all, most of it will be relatively new for us, too.
Even if you are just getting started with sharing poems with your kids, I encourage you to join us. The weekly ideas can be adapted to any age or skill level.
How the Poetry Writing Challenge works
Just as with our poetry reading challenge, the rules are free and flexible. Use our suggestions, but do what works for you! You can use our guidelines as a jumping off point to explore further, or stick to the basics.
Every week this month I will offer up two suggestions to encourage your children (and you!) to think about composing poetry. One will be extremely simple, the other will get you writing a poem. You can choose to do one or both exercises.
You or your kids do not actually have to write anything down. Want to make it an oral exercise? OK. I can almost guarantee my 6 year old is not going to want to pick up a pencil. Don’t let the physical act of writing get in the way.
I’m neither a teacher, nor a literacy specialist. In fact, I’ve only ever formally studied dramatic poetry. I’m a parent, learning about poetry along side my kids. Instead of letting my lack of formal qualifications put you off, let it encourage you that YOU can do this, too!
There is no test, no accountability to anyone but yourself and your kids. However, I would LOVE to hear from you! Please tell me how the challenge worked for you!
Poetry writing exercise #1
Write a simile. (I’ve always thought that similes were easier than metaphors, so we’ll start here.)
What is a simile? A simile is a phrase that makes a comparison between two objects or actions using a specific connecting word, such as like, as, so, etc.
O my Luve’s like a red, red rose, – Robert Burns
Does it dry up
like a raisin in the sun? – Langston Hughes
That’s it! Easy peasy and the simplicity belies how much fun this is to do with kids.
- Illustrate your simile!
- See how many similes you can invent for a single object.
Poetry writing exercise #2
Write an acrostic poem. An acrostic poem is one of the easiest types of poems for kids. An acrostic poem uses the letters in a word to begin the first word in each line.
Many kids like to write an acrostic poem using their names. If they’ve done this exercise in school, have them choose another word.
- Illustrate the acrostic.
- Create a collage by cutting out the first letter of each line from a magazine.
Want more on acrostics?
(Note: book covers and titles contains affiliate links.)
There are four books in this series of seasonal acrostic poems.
Spring: An Alphabet Acrostic
Animal lovers will enjoy these wild acrostics!
African Acrostics: A Word in Edgeways
- Visit all our poetry posts.
- Learn how to write a spine poem.
- Visit the first week of the poetry reading challenge.