It’s National Poetry Month! You know how I love to incorporate nature into our learning so today I have a couple of nature-based poetry activities for you and your children.
Why should our children learn about and read and write poetry? Poetry is a wonderful form of creative self-expression. It can be a way to connect with the world and with others and a way to process emotions. It encourages the writer to carefully consider the use of words and the reader to consider their interpretations. Poetry can be used to foster the skills of observation and to heighten the use of imagery. And often, poetry has rhythm that kids can relate to.
Now on to the activities…
Grow a Poetree
This activity is an open, relaxed way to create poetry. Similar to using magnetic poetry. Print the provided activity pages and cut out the leaves. For young children, you may want to fill them in with words yourself and leave them out as a provocation. My eight year old used a combination of words I filled in and words of her choosing. I have also provided a list of words for inspiration for your child.
There is no need to have a poem already worked out when choosing the words. That’s the fun of it! Think about nature-related words, move the word leaves around until you like the order, and place them around your tree. Inspired by our walk around the neighborhood earlier in the day, here is what my daughter created:
Buds turn into leaves
Birds sing, Sun shining
Melting snow drips
Think about other ways you might adapt this activity for your child. Perhaps she would like to string the word leaves onto a garland and hang it up. It could be used to decorate some branches in a vase or even temporarily on a tree outside. Have fun with it!
Shape a Cinquain Poetree
Cinquain is form of poetry that is composed of five lines. The most common version we see in more modern poetry was developed by Adelaide Crapsey. In this form each of the five lines has a set number of syllables: 2,4,6,8,2 respectfully. There is also a framework for the number of words on each line: 1,2,3,4,1. These patterns lend themselves well to create shape poetry. We thought it fit perfectly with our “poetree” theme but feel free to use any shape you’d like. Maybe a flower or a fish or anything that you’ve been noticing in nature lately.
Think about what you have been noticing in nature lately, something you enjoy doing outside, or your favorite plant, animal or outdoor location. Or maybe there is something you saw in a book or something from your nature collection that has sparked your imagination. Use that to inspire a topic for your poem. Simply follow the format provided on the printable to create your own cinquain.
Here is my son’s:
Shining, Waxing, Waning
Sun of night
I hope you enjoy these poetry activities. If you are looking for more poetry inspiration, I share some of our favorite nature-related books in this post.