Today at "The Word Party" I challenged the students to write pieces that required certain limitations. All the activities included restrictions of some sort -- specific word counts, syllable patterns, etc. First I asked the kids to complete a "lipogram", which is a piece written without using a specific letter. They had to write a paragraph without using the letter "e". They laughed and struggled as they thought of new ways to describe a house ("a cool building") or of sports that don't include an "e" in them (which ruled out soccer, baseball, basketball).
Then we focused on three very different kinds of poetry:
• Six-word memoirs and wishes (expressing a feeling or thought using just six words)
• Haikus (following a 5-syllable, 7-syllable, 5-syllable pattern)
• Limericks (rhyme scheme: 1st, 2nd and 5th lines rhyme, and 2nd and 3rd lines rhyme)
Then we explored visual poetry, in which words are not arranged in straight lines, but in other shapes and forms. The way the words are used and spaced apart actually becomes part of the writing. Each student completed a "concrete poem", writing about a subject in the actual shape of the subject: a tree, a house, a leaf, a balloon.
Here are some of the haikus and limericks the students wrote today.
Green wet and wild
Boys and girls roaming the grass
I like thunderstorms
They are so flashy and bright
I got badly struck.
I made a great goal
The goalie was mad and frowned
I kicked my cleat off.
Waving like a flag
Sloshing lonely back and forth
Ocean brave and strong.
There once was a stick man named Bob
Who started an angry mob.
It was a big pity
When they blew up the city
Then were stopped by a big angry blob.
There was once a big fat cat
Who always chased a very mean bat.
Then the cat chased it
And the bat had a fit
And the cat slipped on a mat.
I once met a bear
That broke a wooden chair
He ate too many berries
Which ended up being cherries
Then screamed with a frightened scare.
There once was a hog
Who wrestled a dog
Then pranced on their hinds
And went to bed at quarter to nine
Then there was an angry mob.
Sisters Gina and Sofie think about their poems
Jonah, Alex, and Jordhi