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LEARN THE DIFFERENT KINDS OF POEMS
HAVE FUN WITH SOME CLASSROOM ACTIVITIES

 

KINDS OF POEMS
jump to CLASSROOM ACTIVITIES

 

What is POETRY? What do you think about when you hear the word POETRY?

There are many kinds of poems:

Some poems make us LAUGH.
Some poems make us THINK.

Some poems are SHORT & FUNNY.
Some poems are LONG & SERIOUS.

Some poems RHYME.
Some poems DO NOT RHYME.

What KINDS of poems have you read?
What KINDS of poems have you written?


Here are some different KINDS of poems:

Couplets
    •  

      Couplets have two lines that rhyme. 

      Here are five couplets from poems in TICKLE DAY: POEMS FROM FATHER GOOSE by Charles Ghigna.

      from LITTLE DADDY LONGLEGS
      Little Daddy Longlegs played in the sun,
      Climbing up the front steps just for fun.

      from TURTLE TROUBLE
      Tell me if you think you know
      How to make a turtle go.

      from TOMORROW'S MY BIRTHDAY
      Tomorrow's my birthday and I'll be four
      And I won't have to stay home anymore.

      from NATURE'S SHOWS
      Nature puts on little shows
      Every time it rains or snows.

      from IT'S SNOW WONDER!
      It's snow wonder that we cheer
      Snowflakes when they fall each year.

       

      Here is a poem that has four couplets from HALLOWEEN NIGHT by Charles Ghigna.

      PUMPKINS ON GUARD

      Look at all the pumpkin faces
      Lighting up so many places.

      On the porch and in the yard,
      Pumpkin faces standing guard.

      Looking friendly, looking mean,
      With a smile or with a scream.

      Orange faces burning bright
      In the cool October night.

 

Tercets
    •  

      Tercets have three lines.

      Here is a poem with two tercets from HALLOWEEN NIGHT by Charles Ghigna.

      WITCH WAY

      With warts on her nose
      And sharp pointy toes,
      She flies through the night on her broom.

      With covers pulled tight
      In the shadows of night,
      I hide in the dark of my room.

 

Ballad Stanzas
    •  

      A ballad stanza is a group of four-lines. That group is called a STANZA. The ballad stanza has a rhyme at the end of line number two and line number four.

      Here are three poems that have ballad stanzas. The first poem has three ballad stanzas. The last two poems have two ballad stanzas. The first two poems are from TICKLE DAY: POEMS FROM FATHER GOOSE by Charles Ghigna. The last poem is from HALLOWEEN NIGHT by Charles Ghigna.

      THE BEE POEM

      A poem is a busy bee
      Buzzing in your head.
      His hive is full of hidden thoughts
      Waiting to be said.

      His honey comes from your ideas
      That he makes into rhyme.
      He flies around looking for
      What goes on in your mind.

      When it's time to let him out
      To make some poetry,
      He gathers up your secret thoughts
      And then he sets them free.

       

      A POEM IS A LITTLE PATH

      A poem is a little path
      That leads you through the trees.
      It takes you to the cliffs and shores,
      To anywhere you please.

      Follow it and trust your way
      With mind and heart as one,
      And when the journey's over,
      You'll find you've just begun.

       

      HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

      I'd rather be foolish than ghoulish,
      I'd rather dress up as a clown;
      I'd rather wear clothes with polka dot bows,
      I'd much rather smile than frown.

      I'd rather be kooky than spooky,
      I'd rather be friendly than mean;
      I'd rather go greeting than tricking and treating,
      I'd rather have fun Halloween!

 

The If-You-Were-Poem
    •  

      Charles Ghigna created the first If-You-Were Poems to introduce METAPHOR to children.  Instructions: COMPARE a friend to some THING (inanimate object), then COMPARE yourself to some THING associated with the first object.  Lines two and four rhyme.  

      If-You-Were Poems make great Valentines!

      Here are three If-You-Were Poems from IF YOU WERE MY VALENTINE by Charles Ghigna.

      If you were a shining star
      And I were your midnight,
      I'd let you shine above me,
      You'd be my only light.

      If you were the hands of time
      And I were a grandfather clock,
      I'd let you spin around with me,
      Together we'd ticktock.

      If you were the pages of a book
      And I were reading you,
      I'd read as slow as I could go
      So I never would get through.

 

Riddle Rhymes
    •  

      Riddle Rhymes are poems that have a riddle. The answer to the riddle is at the end of the poem.

      Here are three Riddle Rhymes from RIDDLE RHYMES by Charles Ghigna.

      HIGH FLYER

      I fly above the tallest trees.
      I'm not a bird or plane.
      I have no wings or feathered things.
      I do not like the rain.

      I play among the passing clouds.
      I like to rise and sail.
      I am a friend who loves the wind.
      I'm big and have a tail.

      I like the gusty month of March.
      I soar way out of sight.
      My shape is like a diamond.
      I am a brand-new KITE.

       

      THE EVERLASTING LIGHT

      I shine forever free.
      I do not cost a cent.
      I need no bulb or battery.
      My light is permanent.

      You'll find me way up in the sky,
      When each new day's begun,
      But do not look me in the eye--
      I am the shining SUN.

       

      YOUR HIGHNESS

      I am a free and open field
      That's never out of bounds,
      Where kites and planes and boomerangs
      Can do their ups and downs.

      I am the biggest yard of all,
      Where birds begin their play
      Of hide-n-seek among the clouds
      At each new break of day.

      I am the place called outer space,
      Where nothing is too high.
      I am the home of all the stars--
      I am the endless SKY.

 

Haiku
    •  

      The Japanese haiku (pronounced "hi-koo") is one of the oldest and shortest forms of poetry. The entire poem consists of only seventeen syllables in three lines of five-seven-five syllables. Haiku poems usually contain brief descriptions of nature and they DO NOT RHYME.

      Here are three haiku poems written by Charles Ghigna from HAIKU: THE TRAVELERS OF ETERNITY.

      JUNE

      The cricket calls to
      the meadow, each evening he
      hears his echo sing.

       

      SEPTEMBER

      Shadows bow to the
      setting sun, pray to the sky
      for blessings of light.

       

      OCTOBER

      Artist autumn comes,
      paints her blush across each tree,
      drops palette, and leaves.

 

Free Verse
    •  

      Free Verse poems can have any number of lines. They usually DO NOT RHYME.

      Here are two free verse poems by Charles Ghigna.

      THE JAZZ MAGICIAN

      He turned his
      saxophone
      into a hat of satin

      and pulled
      a silky rabbit
      out of every note.

       

      MILES DAVIS

      On stage
      in a spotlight
      of smoke
      a cool, blue

      question mark
      of a man
      blows ashes
      into answers.

       

      Here are three free verse poems from A FURY OF MOTION: POEMS FOR BOYS by Charles Ghigna.

      TACKLE

      A grizzly bear in shoulder pads,
      he growls at the line of scrimmage,
      snarls into the face of the offense
      and glares into the eyes
      of the opposing quarterback.

      Hike!
      and he explodes
      over the line,
      bursts through
      the whirling blitz
      of cracking helmets,
      his legs churning forward
      in a fury of motion,
      his arms flailing
      through the backfield
      for anything that moves.

       

      SKYDIVER

      First step
      and he swallows
      the dry, delicious fear
      of walking on air.

      Body bent back
      into a bow,
      he falls into the arms
      of the screaming wind,
      his heart beating
      taps in his ears.

      Pop,
      and an angel wing
      pulls him from the thunder
      of a hundred
      mile an hour dream.

      He sits perched,
      a runaway cloud
      of contentment,
      a fearless eagle feather
      lost in the drift
      of an early afternoon.

      Knees bent, he pulls
      the taut reins of reality,
      ready-sets himself
      for one final, little lift,
      one last tiptoe of air
      before his flying feet
      must run their
      earth-bound way
      back home.

       

      ARS LONGA, VITA BREVIS

      (Art is Long, Life is Short)

      Like the sculptor
      who chips away
      at what is not
      the sculpture,
      your life
      is in your hands,
      the pure
      imperfect stone
      waiting for its
      daily touch,
      the gentle tap,
      the savored strike
      toward mass
      and space
      that form
      the perfect past,
      your tribute
      to the art
      of living.

       

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Have fun READING and WRITING poems!

Here are some fun activities to help get you started . . .


CLASSROOM ACTIVITIES
jump to KINDS OF POEMS

100th DAY OF SCHOOL!

For a fun Class Project using

ONE HUNDRED SHOES

cut & past the link below into your browser

http://mathwire.com/literature/lit100day.html

 

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For another Class Project using

ANIMAL TRUNK and ANIMAL TRACKS

cut & past the link below into your browser:

www.webquest.org/questgarden/lessons/19762-060318170321/process.htm

 

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Here are some writing activities your class might also enjoy:

 

Grades K-2

  1. Write a "Good/Bad" poem about one of your favorite people (teachers, librarians, parents), animals (pigs, porcupines, skunks) or things (schools, libraries, cafeterias). See Good Cats/Bad Cats and Good Dogs/Bad Dogs.
  2. Write an "If-You-Were" poem about your mother, father, teacher or friend. See page 14 of Tickle Day: Poems from Father Goose.
  3. Write a poem that describes something you see in nature. See pages 8, 18, 19, 26, 31,37, 39 of Tickle Day: Poems from Father Goose.
  4. Write a poem about your favorite season. See page 24 in Tickle Day: Poems from Father Goose.
  5. Write a poem comparing your bed to something else. Begin with the lines "I like to climb into my bed/And think that it's a _________." See page 27 of Tickle Day: Poems from Father Goose.

Grades 3-5

  1. Write a "Good/Bad" poem about one of your favorite people (teachers, librarians, parents), animals (pigs, porcupines, skunks) or things (schools, libraries, cafeterias). See Good Cats/Bad Cats and Good Dogs/Bad Dogs.
  2. Write three "If -You-Were" poems. Write a nice one about a friend, a silly one about a friend, and a nice one about a member of your family. See page 14 of Tickle Day: Poems from Father Goose.
  3. Write a poem that describes something you see in nature. See pages 8, 18, 19, 26, 31,37, 39 of Tickle Day: Poems from Father Goose.
  4. Write a poem about your favorite season. See page 24 in Tickle Day.
  5. Write a "Comparison" poem. Begin with the line "A Poem is a _____." See pages 20 and 40. Discuss "metaphor" and "simile."
  6. Write an "Excuse" poem. See page 23 of Tickle Day.
  7. Write three riddle poems. Write one about nature, one about something you see in class, and one about something in your room at home. Read your poem aloud to your classmates and see if they can guess the answer to your riddle. See Riddle Rhymes.



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