Saturday, March 7, 2009

Creative Writing/Poetry exercises for primary students

Janet, Here's a couple of creative writing exercises that I've used for primary school children (suit grades 5-7). They are variations on adult ones. I thank Glen Phillips for introducing me to poster poems way back around 1990. 1. Writing through the senses (Can be individual poems, but a lot of fun writing as a group - use a whiteboard/blackboard) Describe an object, one or two lines each for Sight Sound Taste Smell Touch (can add others, e.g. balance) plus, Intuition (what one knows about the object) 2. Poster Poems Need newspapers they can cut up, glue sticks, scissors, and a A3 sheet of card, if available (photocopy paper will do if nothing else is available) Introduce the class to simple poetic patterning techniques, e.g. alliteration, sibilance, consonance, assonance, rhyme. Look at the newspaper headlines, find examples of poetic patterning techniques in the headlines (can look for simile and metaphor as well if you think the class is up to it, but don’t introduce too many concepts in one go). Some examples of headlines: LAPTOPS FOCUS OF FLIGHT PROBE, ICONIC IMAGE OF WA WORTH ITS SALT, ALARM AT LEVEL OF FEMALE SILENT SUFFERING, FIT HADLEY HUNGRY TO BOOST THE BLUES (The West Australian and The Sunday Times are good source) Have the students cut out the headlines, or parts of headlines to make a poem. Get them to lay the pieces out, shuffle them around, make the poem before they stick it onto their paper. Once finished they can decorate the rest of the page by cutting out pictures or drawing on it. Then: Have an exhibition of the works! You can take this a stage further, if there’s time. Have the participants write the poem out or type it up and then start refining it further by rearranging words and phrases, adding their own words and deleting those that don’t serve the poem well.

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