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The Best Gift Ever!

I love working in the classroom again, even if it is for a short time. Our children's creativity, when unleashed, has me in awe every time I read their poetry when they let me peek into their sweet souls for just a moment. Poetry is soul writing - expression of their very essence - our children's divinity and humanness. I have found that one of the most peaceful days we had was when I brought my sophomores outside to take pictures of our natural world, and they used these to generate poetry. They only need the peace and the time, and the words flow. Some write in rhyme, some in streams of beautiful consciousness. All perfect. Poetry has no rules of expression, no judgment, and is totally safe. Encourage children to compose poetry for their gift giving this year. They give a piece of themselves, something that truly matters, a true keepsake.

Remember that there are no rules, and some children comfortably find their voice in verse. Others may need some starters. For those who need some starting points, here are some ideas.

Here are some simple steps to help them:

For a special loved one, have the child:

1. Find a picture of the loved one,

2. Generate ideas for the poem:

A. Write in Haiku (3 lines, with 5 - 7- 5 syllables),

B. Write an acrostic using letters of the person's name as the beginning of each line, or

C. List their words describing what they love about the person and arrange

it on the page in an interesting way.

3. Attach a picture of them with the loved one.

4. Arrange poem and picture so they look attractive on the page.

5. Autograph it, and

6. Frame it.

For Anyone who appreciates nature, have the child

1. Go outside with a camera or phone

2. Take pictures of the sky from different angles, behind plants, or through trees

3. Take close-up pictures of plants

4. Write words describing sights, sounds, touch, smells, and thoughts

5. Copy and paste the picture on a document

6. Using the words, write about the picture

7. If they need a formula, begin with a thought, description, then thought, or have them use

some of the techniques from the exercise above.

8. Arrange poem and picture so they look attractive on the page.

9. Autograph it, and

10. Frame it.

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