KidPoWriMo Day 10 ~ Haiku Part 2

When you think about poetry, what comes to your mind?

Poems can be small, like haiku, or smaller. Have you ever heard of a one word poem? I remember one that made the news because it won a contest and was only one word in length (and that one word was misspelled). Some poems may have a few dozen words, or a handful of stanzas. Epic poems can be larger than chapter books or novels.

I think of an epic poem like a blockbuster movie. Spoken word poems that take up a few pages, I think of as television shows. Sonnets, pantoums and other poems that fit on one page are like a music video. And haiku are like a snap shot or photograph. Comparing them to another genre of art helps me when choosing how much detail I want to add to my poems.

One third of the way through the month, we have lots of tools we can combine to write hundreds of poems. And there is so much more we can add to our poetic tool chest.

On Day 3, we learned about 17 syllable haiku, the one that has 5 syllables in the first line, 7 in the middle line and 5 in the final line. With respect to the poets who prefer to write haiku that is smaller than 17 syllables, I decided that we would take some time to do that, too.

When writing a poem that must be a certain number of syllables, we sometimes have to add words that may be unnecessary or remove words that we thought were important to the message we want in our poem. When writing smaller haiku poems, a poet can make a message without worrying about counting syllables. No extra words have to be added and no important words need to be taken away.

Poetic word of the day: “succinct” (Click here to read the definition on

Haiku, loosely defined, is a small poem. The #haiku hashtag is very popular on Twitter. Another popular hashtag is #sixwords. People use it to write poems, stories, sayings or whatever they like.

PROMPT: Write a 6-word poem / haiku. Put two words in each of 3 lines. As a story has a beginning, middle and ending, give your poem a beginning, middle and end. After the reader finishes reading the first two lines, they may think they know where the poem is going, but you may surprise them with the last word.

I will use  an example from my own daily haiku project:

Haiku #150 (May 21)

green thumb
long weekend
container garden

by Cheryl Crockett

Notice, small words, such as “a”, “the”, “if”, “is”, are missing from this poem. Still, my message is clear.

PARENTS OF YOUNGER CHILDREN: One at a time, have your child(ren) say a word that comes to mind, a noun. Then have everyone else add a word. They do not have to be favorite words. Go around the room a few times. Add adjectives to the nouns, using a different color ink or crayon. Instead of writing the words on a piece of paper or in a notebook, an older person can write them on 3 x 5 cards.  Put the cards on the side of the table, a pile near each person. Have each person put one word in the center of the table and read the word pairs you see. If anyone likes a word pair, leave those two words in the center of the table and take away the other word cards. Say and write more words to complete a six word haiku. Do this again and again. This is not a game where someone wins and someone else loses. It is an activity where everyone works together to make a poem. Save the cards you make for future poetry activities.

KidPoWriMo Day 9 ~ Four by four

Last Tuesday, we learned about iambs and feet in writing poetryUsing this, today we will write the first four lines of a poem. Each line will contain four iambs.

REVIEW OF DAY 2: One iamb is also known as a foot that has two syllables where one is stressed and the other is unstressed. I suggested that we name an iamb with the first syllable stressed a: “left-foot” and one with the stress in the 2nd syllable a “right-foot”. An iamb can be one two-syllable word or two one-syllable words.  For this exercise, stressed syllables will always be next to unstressed syllables. In other words, alternate the unstressed with stressed syllables.

The following example will use “right-feet” and the stressed syllables will be in UPPERCASE letters.

The 2nd line of a favorite children’s rhyme has three right-foot iambs:

the MOUSE ran UP the CLOCK” (from “Hickory, Dickory Dock”)

The line has six syllables (3 feet or iambs) where the even-numbered syllables are stressed (2nd, 4th & 6th).

Each line of the poem we will write today has an added iamb for a total of 4 iambs per line.

Poetic word of the day: “stanza” (click here to see the definition on Wikipedia)

A stanza is a part of a poem. It can contain as few as two, up to almost as many lines as you like. Similar to a paragraph, which can contain any number of sentences and is a section of a written work, a stanza is a section of a poem.

When putting your words together, feel free to use the whisper-shout exercise, from Day 2,  to make sure you have put the stresses in the right place.

Pick your topic and write it down. I am creating as I write this post. My topic is “snacks”. I will write my whole creative process. Let’s write together, shall we?

I am going to write backwards so I can put my topic word at the end of a line and because I know it will be easy to find other words that rhyme with it.


The word “HEALthy” is a “left-foot” iamb, but when I put a one syllable word after it, I can make it work in my line. But, because we are only using right-feet iambs, I will try something else. My strategy will be to use as many one-syllable words as I can.


I have two iambs and I put my topic word at the end of the line. Next, I will think of words to go in front of them:

i JUST can’t WAIT to GET my SNACK

Now, I have a line! I could use it to open my poem as the first line, or it could be at the end of my poem. Where would you put this line among the four? I will figure this out as I write the next lines.

my CHOICE is ONE that’s GOOD for ME

OK, a second line came quickly. Now, for a third. As I start my third lines, If I am going to use rhyme, I need to keep “ME” and “SNACK” in mind.





This is the order that the iambs came to my mind. When I put them together into a line, I get:


And I have rhymed SACK with SNACK. Knowing that I still need to rhyme something with ME, the word “AGREE” came to my mind and it is a right-foot iamb! Yay!


don’t YOU aGREE


I wrote a few options of phrases for my fourth line.

that’s WHAT i THINK do YOU aGREE


These almost work, but I am not happy with what I have written so far. Should I think of another word or phrase that rhymes with ME?

you SEE


the BEE


for FREE

with GLEE

(from “A”) to “Z”

OK, I will start my fourth line over again writing iambs that go with “for FREE”



each ONE

them ALL

them FROM


I have more iambs than I need, so I will put some together to make my fourth line:


Let me try another combination:


Now, I have four completed lines that I can put together into a stanza.

I just can’t wait to get my snack.

My choice is one that’s good for me.

I put some grapes inside my sack.

I picked them all myself for free.

I can reorganize the lines so that the line I wrote first is somewhere else in my stanza:

I put some grapes inside my sack.

I picked them all myself for free.

I just can’t wait to get my snack.

My choice is one that’s good for me.

I can put my lines together is many different ways. I can pick the one I like best and put it in my poem. When you read my lines, you can feel the rhythm as you say the stressed and unstressed syllables.

How did your stanza take shape? Notice in my creative process, shared above, some ideas seem good at first but later don’t work the way we thought they would. It is OK to take a couple of steps back and write a few more ideas to see which ones you like best.

Now do this again to make your 2nd stanza and at least a 3rd. Write as many as you like to finish your poem.

 FOR PARENTS WITH YOUNGER CHILDREN: Play with iambs made from one syllable words. Start with the example line “the MOUSE ran UP the CLOCK” and use it like a template. Take one of the stressed words out of the line and replace it with another word chosen by your child(ren).  Then pick any other word and replace it. Do this one word at a time until you have written a new original line. My example: “my PUP went OUT to PLAY”. Let the whole family help change the words. Write down each line, try to make pairs of lines rhyme. Finally, put them together.


KidPoWriMo Day 4 ~ We owe it to odes

Happy 4th of July! It’s Independence Day in the United States and much of the country is celebrating with a day off, singing patriotic songs, cooking out and watching fireworks.

Some patriotic songs have lyrics that were originally poems which were later set to music. So, for today, it seems the right thing to do is to talk about the ode.

Poetic word of the day: “ode” (click here to read the definition on

Now that you know what “ode” means, you can find odes almost anywhere. And if you are going to write an ode, you know you will be writing with a lot of respect and honor for the person or object of your poem, though the style of poem you choose to write may vary.

Click here to read a famous poetic example of an “ode” by Pablo Neruda: “Ode to my Socks” (on

The words to the hymn: “Ode to Joy” are poetry, and there are more than one version of the poem, but the melody to the song is so famous, you would recognize it if I started humming it. I won’t have to, because when you turn on the television, you will find it is the background music for many commercials and is the theme for numerous movie soundtracks. Since we are working with poetry here, my point is that poetry often inspires music. I wonder: would the music ever have been written if it wasn’t for the poem?

On this patriotic day, I want to share the poetic words to “America the Beautiful” (click to hear on YouTube). Can we call the words to this song an “ode”? I think so.

PROMPT: Is there a person or an object that is very important to you? Write an ode. You can use rhyme (from Day 1) and/or iambs (from Day 2). You may use haiku. If you do, feel free to write a series or string of haiku to make your ode. Otherwise, you may use any style of poetry you like.

PARENTS WITH YOUNGER CHILDREN: Talk about something that is important in your family and discuss what you would put in an ode about that thing. The family car may be very important to your family and an ode will celebrate this fact. You might talk about what you would put in an ode to each other [i.e.: if mom or dad writes an ode to the child(ren) or the child(ren) will write an ode to the parents or grandparents]. If you have recently lost someone who was close to your child(ren), talk about making and ode to them. An older person should write down what the child says. Then pick out words that are iambs or that you can rhyme and write those words down, too. Your child(ren) may start telling you their poems. Be ready to write them down and save them.

If I am inspired to write an ode, I might write one for you to thank you for reading and sharing this project.


KidPoWriMo Day 1 ~ Words Are My Toys


Ever since I learned to read and write, I have played with words. From the first day I learned about poetry, I wanted to write my own. I have been writing poems ever since that time.

To have the most fun with something used for play, you learn everything about it. Just like you would know the secret places to earn extra points in your favorite video game, or whether the doors on your toy car open/close, or how a doll’s arms and legs move, if words are your toys, you know a lot about them. If you know how to pronounce a word, you can rhyme it with another word. If you know a word’s part of speech, you know how to use it in a phrase or sentence. And if you know that a word has more than one meaning, you can play with it using either or both of the definitions.

Words are like the jigsaw puzzle pieces the poet puts together to make poetry. And just like the finished puzzle is a picture, your finished poem will make an image appear in the minds of those who read your poem. You may use any word you want in a poem. And you can create new words and give them meaning through your poem.

Poetic Word of the Day: “RHYME” (click here for the definition on

Rhyme is one of the most popular tools a poet uses. Most children’s books have rhyme on every page. Lyrics to most popular songs, from Country to Rap to Pop and Rock, contain rhyme.

PROMPT: Think of your favorite word and write a poem about it (or that contains it). Use rhyme at the end of the phrases in your poem. You may rhyme two or three lines with the same sound at a time and then use another sound for the next two or three lines. Your poem should be at least four lines long.

If you are new to rhyming, vowel sounds are often easiest to rhyme:

“E”: me, see, tree, plea, clearly, disagree, ordinary…

“O”: no, glow, snow, dough, throw, rainbow, below, regrow…

“A”: day, say, may, clay, hey, re-play, portray…

“I”: hi, pie, lie, die, cry, dry, try, high, reply…

“U”: do, new, blue, stew, clue, untrue, achoo…

You can find a rhyming dictionary at your local public library. You can use it to look up a word and all those that rhyme with it. You may discover rhyming tools on-line, also.

PARENTS OF YOUNGER CHILDREN: If your child(ren) cannot yet read or write by themselves, when you have story time, point out the rhyming words on some of the pages of the book. See if you and your child(ren) can think of other words that rhyme with those you read. Some kids may want to finish the book first. Others won’t mind thinking of rhyming words before you turn the page.

I have made words my toys. I look forward to seeing how you play with them.

Thanks for coming to play with your favorite words and rhyme on Day 1!


Welcome to KidPoWriMo!

Kid’s Poetry Writing Month (abbreviated “KidPoWriMo”) is an on-line poem-per-day summer writing project for Elementary, Junior/Middle and Senior High School students. It is a fun way for students to be creative and academically engaged during their summer vacation from school.

Each day, participants may choose to write a poem on any topic, or they can use the daily prompts found on this site.


Day 1   ~   Favorite Words & Rhyme

IMPORTANT: This page is under construction & will be updated throughout the month. F.A.Q.s may be relocated to another page on this site.

F.A.Q. (Foreseen Anticipated Questions):

1. What’s a …”WRI-MO”?

WRI-MO (I pronounce it “REE-MO”) is a short way of saying “WRITING MONTH”. You can find some kind of writing month on-line throughout the year. I have participated in ones for haiku, poetry and songwriting. A very popular one, for novel writing, happens monthly with a new group of participants joining each time the page in the calendar flips.

2.How do I participate in KidPoWriMo?

Visit this site each day to read the prompt. Then write a poem. Post your poem on-line with the hashtag “#KidPoWriMo”.

Click here to visit KidPoWriMo on Facebook (all are welcome to join).

Click here to visit KidPoWriMo on Google+ (an open G+ community).

3. Can I write my poem about anything?

Yes! The prompts are suggestions to help you if you need an idea to get started writing your daily poem. If you any prompt inspires you, feel free to use it.

CAUTION: As you write, just be careful not to violate the terms of the site where you are posting your poems. Some social sites may shut down your account if your post contains threatening, bullying or otherwise abusive language.

4. What if I have never written a poem before? Do I have to be a poet to participate?

If you have never written a poem, KidPoWriMo may be perfect for you. If you are a poet (who has written a poem or two or more before), you already know this is the place to be.

5. Where should I post my poems on-line?

You may post your poems almost anywhere you like: Facebook, WordPress, Blogger, Tumblr, Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Tout, SoundCloud, etc. No matter where post on-line, be sure to use the hashtag: #KidPoWriMo.

6. Do I have to type my poems or can I post video, audio or photography?

Be as creative as you like. You may type your poems or take a photograph of the poem on paper. You can record the sound of your voice as you read your poem and post it to or you can recite your poem in front of a video camera and upload it to YouTube. Post one way or mix it up. You may choose to post the same poem in all, or any combination of ways.

7. My child is too young to use social media. Can an adult post poetry written by a child?

Yes. Parents and legal guardians may post poems for their children. In these cases, photos of the child’s work would be excellent if shared on your favorite photo sharing site.

8. How can I see poems by others who are participating?

Search using the hashtag: #kidpowrimo

9. What if I only want to write my poems in my notebook?

That’s fine. It just means that other participants on-line won’t be able to read them. Be sure to show your notebook to your teacher when you return to school. This project may make you eligible for extra credit.

10. What about Copyrights?

All poets sharing using KidPoWriMo retain the ownership of their poems. Whenever you participate in any on-line writing, you are sharing publicly. The legal protection you can get through the United States Copyright Office at the Library of Congress is always a good idea.

11. I have graduated from High School already and want to write #kidpowrimo poems. How can I participate?

Thanks for your interest! Please share #KidPoWriMo with children, parents, day-care providers, educators and summer camp directors you know (if an older person wants to write poems, too, let’s just keep it a secret from the younger people). daily writing opportunities include #OctPoWriMo (October Poetry Writing Month), #NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), #NaHaiWriMo (National Haiku Writing Month) and #NaPoWriMo (National Poetry Writing Month).

12. I am a teacher. May I use #KidPoWriMo in my classroom?