“I need about one hundred fifty drafts of a poem to get it right, and fifty more to make it sound spontaneous.”
― James Dickey, American poet and Novelist
Young children love songs and rhymes. They enjoy the repetitive nature of poems and are often found singing their favourite rhymes. However, very few children attempt to write a poem, simply because it seems like such a task.
We have seen an overwhelming response to our step-by-step story writing framework, so this time we will let you in on our secret step-by-step guide to writing your very first poem.
Intrigued much? Let’s get started.
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This step-by-step guide is for little children and will result in a basic poem. Once children get the hang of writing poetry, they can start writing advanced, and more detailed verses. Here are some guidelines for parents to follow before they get started with the process to ensure a more fun yet disciplined approach to poetry writing:
Here is a poetry writing framework for young children. Like all other skills, poetry writing is also a skill and can be practised. Do praise their efforts and encourage them to write better every single day. Try not to rush them into writing a poem; go through the steps and allot appropriate time for them to master each step before moving on to the next. Some children will do it faster than others, and some will take a bit longer. It’s all good. They are still learning and will soon find their poetry writing mojo!
Before you introduce poetry writing to your children, it is important to expose them to fun poems to create an interest in poetry. If you do not have access to fun poems that would get them to giggle and find poetry intriguing, you can try searching the internet for keywords like ‘funny poems for children grade 1.’ You could also search for famous children’s poets such as Ruskin Bond and Kenn Nesbitt. It’d grant you access to so many age-appropriate funny poems that your child will grow to love.
Writing poems is incredibly difficult, especially for children. Now that children know that poems can be so much fun, teach them about rhyming words. Engage in an exercise where you tell them a word and the child tells you words that rhyme with that word. For example: Parents give the child the word ‘hat,’ and the child then comes up with rhyming words — mat, rat, cat, sat, bat, look at, etc.
If your child can write, get them to make a note of these rhyming words in their notebook. Continue with this exercise till your child can tell you at least three rhyming words for any of the words suggested by you.
Here are some words to get you started:
Note for parents: Please keep the word list easy to build their confidence.
Now that your child can rhyme words, step up the game and get them to rhyme sentences. It will get them to link two sentences together, which is the first step towards writing your first poem. Furthermore, rhyming sentences is less overwhelming than writing a poem. It will help them build confidence and inculcate an ‘I can’ attitude.
Here are some sentences to get you started:
Note for parents: Please keep the sentence list easy to build their confidence.
At this stage, your child knows how to rhyme sentences and weave them together. This is a perfect time to get them to rhyme multiple sentences of a single theme. It allows them to write basic poems. It can be your child’s first poetry writing accomplishment. Do ensure that you reward this with ample praise and encouragement.
Here are some topics to get you started:
After step 4, your child knows what it takes to write their very first poem. Parents at this stage need to encourage their child to write poems independently. Try not to introduce changes to the child’s poems, it may make the child feel like they are not doing a good job. Ask the child to present their poems to family members. You can also encourage them to illustrate their poems and create a poetry book.
Writing poetry is not easy at any age. It requires a lot of patience and practice. You can also write poems using this method with your child to make it even more fun.
Have you tried any such poetry writing framework before? Are you excited to see the poems that your child will write at the end of this? Do share the poems written by your child in the comment section, or drop us a line at [email protected].
Looking forward to reading all the wonderful poems!
“Me-kha-la!” That happens at least once when she introduces herself to new people. She wholeheartedly believes in the quote by Arthur Rubinstein that says – “if you love life, life will love you back”. She is an organizational psychologist and psychometrician. She was a class teacher of 36 adorable girls for two years, grades 2 & 3, as a part of the Teach For India Fellowship. These little girls have a special place in her heart, and when she writes for children, she writes for them!
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