I love teaching kids poetry because they have such imaginations and open minds . . . they aren’t limited by years of insecurities yet! The simplest way to start teaching poetry is by combining two elements: reading lots of great poetry (especially funny poems for kids) and writing formula poems. Formula poems are like baby steps that you can take to learning free verse poetry. Try name poems for starters.
Check out this name poem written by Michelle’s son, Tim:
It means smart, playful, and scared of heights.
It is the number 12.
It is like grass in the spring.
It is digging a snow tunnel.
It is the memory of Harrison,
Who taught me to keep instruction manuals and play,
When he destroyed my Legos.
My name is Tim.
It means be happy.
Formula for a Name Poem
Now try your own. Here’s the formula:
Line 1 – Your name
Line 2- It means (3 adjectives that describe you)
Line 3- It is the number (favorite number)
Line 4- It is like (describe your favorite color but don’t name it)
Line 5- It is (name something you remember experiencing with your family or friends)
Line 6- It is the memory of (a significant person)
Line 7- Who taught me (a concept, like honesty)
Line 8- When s/he (when did they exemplify that)
Line 9- My name is (your name)
Line 10- It means (state something important that you believe about life).
Have fun writing your own! Oh, and go read a bunch of silly poems already.
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