Poetry is a form of literature where thoughts and feelings are conveyed through sound and cadence. Think about what draws you to a particular poem. Chances are, it’s the feeling it inspires or the rhythmic patterns.
This type of narrative has been around for centuries. Its roots start with oral tradition, particularly epic poetry, or the retelling of heroic deeds and important happenings within a culture. Over the years it has evolved into various forms, such as the sonnet and haiku.
Poetry is an important part of language arts studies. When your child is exposed to poems, she is invited in to new worlds where the sound, meaning, and pattern of words are explored in ways that are different from traditional tales.
One way to get kids interested in poetry is to let them write their own. It allows them to be creative, while building vocabulary skills. They’ll quickly learn that poets choose their words wisely.
There are many styles that are great for kids. One of my favorites is the diamante poem, which was first published in an educational journal by Iris McClellan Tiedt in 1969. It’s written in the shape of a diamond, hence the name.
A diamante poem starts with a one word noun or subject that you want to highlight. Then just follow the steps to create your poem. When finished, the text should form the shape of a diamond.
Line 1: Your one word (noun or subject)
Line 2: Two words that describe line 1 (adjectives)
Line 3: Three action verbs that describe line 1 (words ending in ‘ing’)
Line 4: Two nouns that describe line 1 and two nouns that describe line 7
Line 5: Three action verbs that describe line 7 (words ending in ‘ing’)
Line 6: Two words that describe line 7 (adjectives)
Line 7: Synonym for the subject (noun)
Here’s one about winter accessories.
sledding, laughing, covering
thumb, children, hands, accessory
snowing, walking, warming
Have your child brainstorm a list of subjects he wants to write about, eventually choosing one to focus on. The next step is to write down words that relate to that topic, making sure to include nouns, verbs and adjectives. Remember to be descriptive by using interesting words. This is the perfect time to use a thesaurus.
Select your terms and build your diamante poem.
Turning Poetry into a Piece of Art
Using a nice piece of paper, have your child hand write their poem, either at the top or bottom of the page. In the blank space, they can add a picture representing their subject. Chalk pastels work beautifully for this project.
Adding poetry to your language arts plan doesn’t have to be complicated to be effective. If you keep it simple and fun, you might be surprised by your child’s interest level.
How do you teach poetry in your home school?