Using Poetry to Express Your Children’s Creativity - Kumon

Using Poetry to Express Your Children’s Creativity

Roses are red,

Violets are blue.

Helping your child write poetry

Can be a fun activity to do.

Poetry has been in existence since the dawn of literature. It has provided generations of readers with a glimpse of the world throughout the ages by exploring themes such as historical events, the origin of man, friendship, and love. Poetry can be used to creatively express one’s feelings and thoughts about a particular topic or experience. It is a particularly useful form for children, who can use poetry not only to freely express their thoughts, but also as a fun way to practice their reading and writing skills. have compiled the following tips to help your children start writing poetry.

Start by reading poems

One of the best ways to get your children started in writing poetry is by introducing them to different types of poems. Read-Aloud Rhymes for the Very Young by Jack Prelutsky and Here’s a Little Poem by Jane Yolen from our Recommended Reading List are two great poetry books to start exploring with your children.

Brainstorming poem themes and topics

Sometimes it can be difficult to start writing a poem, but remind your children that poems can be about anything. They can be about their family,, a dream they had, or even something as simple as what they had for breakfast or dinner.

Create a rhyming word list

One way to start writing poetry is by creating a list of rhyming words on a piece of paper. Using a mixture of rhyming nouns, verbs, and adjectives, your children can create simple sentences that can be used to create a poem. For example, by brainstorming a rhyming word list that included flying, trying, high, kite, night, bite, and might, we were able to create the below poem about a bat.

Flying high as a kite,

In the darkness of the night.

Trying to search for its next bite,

Shrieking loudly with all its might.

Try writing different kinds of poems

Another way to help get your children’s creative juices flowing is by exploring different ways to write poems. Be sure to remind your children that not all poems have to rhyme. Some require a particular number of syllables in each line, while others follow a specific pattern.  Below are various types of poems with examples to inspire your children:

Acrostic Poem – is a poem in which the first letters of each line spell out a word, name or phrase.  Example by Lewis Carroll:

A boat, beneath a sunny sky
Lingering onward dreamily
In an evening of July –

Children three that nestle near,
Eager eye and willing ear,
Pleased a simple tale to hear –

Long has paled that sunny sky:
Echoes fade and memories die:
Autumn frosts have slain July.

Still she haunts me, phantomwise,
Alice moving under skies
Never seen by waking eyes.

Children yet, the tale to hear,
Eager eye and willing ear,
Lovingly shall nestle near.

In a Wonderland they lie,
Dreaming as the days go by,
Dreaming as the summers die:

Ever drifting down the stream –
Lingering in the golden gleam –
Life, what is it but a dream?

Haiku – a three  line poem with 17-syllables that follows a line-pattern of 5-7-5.  Example by Natsume Soseki:

Over the wintry

forest, winds howl in rage

with no leaves to blow.

Sonnet – a poem of fourteen lines written in iambic pentameter using any of a number of formal rhyme schemes, in English typically having ten syllables per line.  Example by William Shakespeare:

Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?

Thou art more lovely and more temperate;

Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,

And summer’s lease hath all too short a date;

Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,

And often is his gold complexion dimm’d;

And every fair from fair sometime declines,

By chance or nature’s changing course untrimm’d;

But thy eternal summer shall not fade,

Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow’st;

Nor shall death brag thou wander’st in his shade,

When in eternal lines to time thou grow’st:

So long as men can breathe or eyes can see,

So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.

Just write

Ask your children to write what they are thinking. This is the best way to get ideas on paper. They could always make revisions later.

What are some additional ways that you could try to encourage your children to begin writing poetry?