by Bette A. Stevens
As a nature lover, teacher, reader and writer I often took my class on nature walks with clipboards, pencils and plenty of paper in hand. A great, creative writing project to do with the grandkids! Goal: each person finds something interesting and inspiring. It might be a flower, a tree, an insect. Subjects in the great outdoors are unlimited. Take notes, usually a list, word web or other diagram about one or two of the most interesting things you’ve observed. Then, write a poem about what you’ve selected and illustrate your poem. Haiku (three lines: 5-7-5 syllables) is one of my favorites for creating quick word snapshots that kids really enjoy writing. Talk to the kids about similes, metaphors and other figurative language. Have an example on hand to model and share with the kids. With illustrated poems in hand, take another nature walk. Find an outdoor theatre (under the shade of a tree in the backyard or playground ). You might even choose to take a walking field trip to a nearby park. Bring a lunch or snack and enjoy a “Poetry Party,” where everyone gets to perform! All of my life, I’ve been inspired by the beauty and wonder in the world around me. A camping trip with my family to Moosehead Lake in Greenville, Maine www.mooseheadlake.org/ inspired me to write this word snapshot, and, of course, I had fun illustrating it, too.
This was one of my classroom “shares.”
Writing Haiku or any short form of poetry is a great, creative family or classroom activity that’s fun for everyone! Demonstrate your poems and have your own party. As a bonus, you’ve got personal posters for rooms, bulletin boards or scrapbooks!
What are some of your favorite ideas that are sure to inspire kids to have fun reading and writing?