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 decades ago 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!
- Discover how to write a haiku and find out why reading and writing poetry is good for everyone at Bette’s Poetry Party “Let’s Haiku“ Lesson #free Pdf. (Simply Click & Print/Includes Note to Parents & Educators).
- Illustrate your poems and have your own Haiku Party.
- As an extra bonus, you’ll have personal posters for rooms, bulletin boards or scrapbooks!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Inspired by nature and human nature, author Bette A. Stevens is a retired elementary and middle school teacher, a wife, mother of two and grandmother of eight. Stevens lives in Central Maine with her husband on their 37-acre farmstead where she enjoys reading, writing, gardening, walking and reveling in the beauty of nature. She advocates for children and families, for childhood literacy and for the conservation of monarch butterflies (milkweed is the only plant that monarch caterpillars will eat). Stevens has written articles for ECHOES, The Northern Maine Journal of Rural Culture. Stevens has self-published five books to date and has a second poetry collection on the drawing board.
- Find MY MAINE, Haiku through the Seasons and check out all of Bette’s books at https://www.amazon.com/author/betteastevens
What are some of your favorite ways to inspire kids to have fun reading and writing?