Poetry Box July challenge: move p o e m move!

Special note: I won’t open any attachments or links if you don’t include your details of name and school etc. I keep getting poems like sent like this but I don’t want to risk a virus. Put the poem challenge title in the subject line.


p o  e   m    s           Ca N           M      o         V       e


This month I am giving two challenges. One for younger children and one for older children but you can do either or both! This is a challenge about movement as I love the way poems move!

Movement in a poem can make a poem spark or kick or jiggle.


A challenge for younger children (or older!):


Write a poem about something that moves.

Hunt for good verbs before you start writing.

Verbs will be the gold nuggets in your poem.

Listen to your poem when you read it aloud

The number of words you put on the line will change the way the poem moves!



A challenge for older children (or younger!):


Write a poem that changes in some way.

Perhaps the rhythm changes.

Or how you see something.

Or what happens to something or someone.

A change in a poem can be a surprise.

It might change the mood of a poem.

Don’t forget to use your ears and listen to the flow.

Don’t forget to use strong detail.

Real detail helps your poem glow.

Collect strong detail (nouns, verbs, adjectives) before you start writing.


An Extra challenge:

Try making a picture poem that shows movement!


SEND your poem to paulajoygreen@gmail.com

DEADLINE Thursday July 28th

Include your name, age, year and name of school. You can include your teacher’s email if you like.

P l e a s e    p u t   ‘Movement poem’ in the subject line of your email.

I will pick some favourites to post on the blog and have a book for at least one reader and maybe even a book for a class.

I will post on Sunday July 31st.

these are some of my favourite THING poems

The Violin by Lachlan Hunter age 9.jpg

Lachlan age 9 Year 5 Russley School


Thank you for sending in poems about things. I loved reading them all and they were all so different. I had to take screen shots of some to keep the layout.

I HAD SO MANY to read. Wow! This was a very popular challenge.

I loved the flow of words in  Phoebe‘s poem and the little bits of repetition. This is a poem that sounds very good. It is surprising. I loved the mood and sounds of the lines in Emily‘s poem and the words in Zoe G‘s move like a bow. I love the way Xanthe‘s poem looks like the bristles of a toothbrush and Lachlan‘s looks like a violin. I love the pattern in Hannah‘s poem, the time-capsule idea in Laura‘s poem and the Lily‘s skinny poem.

I love the way Daisy-Jane becomes a piano!

Finley, Liam and Grace keep their things secret in their poems so we can guess what it is. Very imaginative. Loved all poems from this class but could only pick a few.

Polina‘s poem had such a strong mood, Charlotte used such warm doggy detail, Anika imagined so beautifully and what a terrific bunch of poems from Russley School. Such magnificent detail. Such great sounds as I read each line. I like the way you made some of them into pictures. I loved the way students at Waverley Park School collaborated using both imagination and ears hard at work.These poems flowed beautifully and hooked my attention.

Every poem deserved a spot on here, but I could only pick a few.

Keep up the great writing! Wow!

Please don’t be disappointed if I didn’t pick you this time  – I can tell you all loved writing these.

Give my July challenge a go.

I am sending Phoebe a copy of The Letterbox Cat.



Soft fur

squeaky and snuggly

it came from my great grandma.

It is a toy panda


I sleep with it all the time.

When I cuddle with it

I think of her.

by Michaela E, age 7 yrs, Russley School



A Rag Doll

A rag doll,
sitting on the bed,
watching everything
like a crow over corn.

A rag doll,
sitting by the light
of the glowing lantern,
as orange as a
fire beam.

A rag doll,
cuddled up in bed
when the
light turns off.

Phoebe D, Age 9, Fendalton Open Air School



On the wall
protecting my memory
with a layer of glass.
Reminding me
of the good times we had.
It reminds me of her warm hugs
on a cold winter’s night,
and my mum’s warm breath on my neck
The faces in the picture beaming out at me.
The cracked glass distorts the photo.
The frayed corners
the only hint of age

Polina C Age: 11  Year 7  Selwyn House School




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Rain Drop

A raindrop falls
down down down landing on the tip of a frog’s toe
Hopping all about the frog dances
All around jumping and diving
In the puddles Looking at the swamp
That surrounds him
Then he leaps away
Landing where he once lay.

Emily L  Selwyn House School  12 years old



Ice cream,
Piped up high,

A princesses dress,
Finished with bows,

Light catching the point,

Roasted over the fire,

Dissolving in your mouth,

Poised on one leg,

Shining in the sun,


The colour of love.

Hannah Age 12, Year 7, Selwyn House School


The Notebook

She spills her heart and soul into its pages
Ink dapples the paper
But it is not ink to her
It is her memories and her joys
Her fears and her dreams
Her secrets and her sorrows
One day she will look back on it and remember
Until that day it is a time capsule
Waiting to be opened.

 Laura D 10 years old Year 6 at Stanmore Bay School


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Lily, aged 10, Year 6, Fendalton Open Air School


It just sits there waiting
Jaws closed, saliva ready
Eyes set on the brown portal
That releases new prey.

Suddenly the jaws open
Showing the deepness of its throat
And as the liquid drops into his its throat
The roar sends it down.

Finley B (11)- (The toilet) St Martins School, Christchurch



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It hangs there, lifeless
A dark mass of material
Surrounded by darkness
The door creaks open.

Her fingers reach out
Grasping it
Placing it upon her shoulders.

Grace O (10) (The coat) Year 6 St Martins School


Treasure Box

It holds a land of gold and comfort
A smell of roses and lavender
A wish book
ten for each person

Everyone you meet has this something special
So some can fly
some may sit clouds
Some may heal or have X-Ray vision
That’s what I know
I have been there

Anika B age 8 Year 4 St Andrews Prep School



He sticks to his loved ones.
He leaves a bit of himself with them.
A headless horseman
Twisting his saddlebag,
Kicking its spurs to grow faster.
Sleek and smooth
His horse is.

Liam G (9) Year 5 St Martins School (A glue stick)



Long, sharp, white teeth as pointy as a pin.

Long, fluffy, warm inky black fur with round patches of blond fur.

Pointy ears like a cone and as fluffy as a Minky blanket.

A deep, loud bark that travels around the neighbourhood.

A canine, my best friend. Gracie.

By Charlotte M 7 years old Year 3 Homeschool


Cell Phone

I hear my sister’s alarm

clicking and ticking

The ring tone vibrating crazily

like a mad dog.

She plays annoying songs and

I turn into the Hulk.

by Zion S, 8 years old, Russley School



Rusty red guitar,

found in my Dad’s garage.

The strings, the smell of an

old bronze medal.

The frets, the colour of hot, burnt toast.

It reminds me, of my Papa playing with it.

The funky rhythms, the beautiful tunes,

old school lyrics and Nana singing along.

By Taralina L year 7, age 12, Russley School

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Gloomy Piano

I sit here all day…

Waiting for Beethoven

Lily comes in and slams my tongue down on my chin

She clunks with her elbows again and again and

again and again on my freshly moisturised face

I screech an F sharp!

By Daisy-Jane       Year 7           Age 11


The Skate That Rolled

A once special human

Fought in the war

Wearing a blue top

With red, yellow and white stripes

His feet moved like wheels

So fast, so smooth

His arms were like toothpicks

Thin and narrow

He was wrapped in love

Tied up

He is gone

He never existed

He was the

Skate that rolled

By Zoe (11) and Anna (10) Waverley Park School, Invercargill Room 11


Thrashed around in the stormy sea
Dented lid
Rust covered
Scratched paint
Padlock broken
Golden metal handles
Cracked inside
Beaten by colossal waves
Washed up on the sandy sea shore
Rust covered
Treasure chest

By Seryn (10) Priscilla (9) Annabelle (10) Amber (9) Waverley Park School
Room 11


Final Piece

Building with my fingers

hands sliding over

the dimpled lego bricks

hands fumbling through

the instructions

trying to turn the page

breathing becomes heavy as

the final piece falls into place

Lego house.

Joe D (10) Waverley Park School Room 11



Poetry Box June challenge – I love poems with things in them



Now that winter is here, and the fire is roaring, the soup simmering and the wind whipping about our house like a mad dog, it is time to snuggle into good books and a spot of poetry writing!

This month I challenge you to write a poem about a thing.

It might be something you love or something someone in your family loves.

It might be comfortable, strange, old, new, surprising. Maybe you don’t like it that much at all!

It might move. It might stay still. But it is not alive. It is an object.


I love poems with things in them.


You might use the thing to tell a teeny tiny story.

You might hide how you feel about the thing in your poem.

You might use words to take a photo of your thing.

You might not ever say what the thing is.


You might use the thing to write a poem about a person (tricky!). Maybe it is something favourite of your mum or dad!


You need to think carefully about how you start and end your poem. Have a few tries and then pick your favourites.

HOT TIP: Try hunting for lots of good words before you start writing!


ANOTHER HOT TIP: Listen to the sound of every line so your ears can tell if your poem flows well.


SEND your poem to paulajoygreen@gmail.com

DEADLINE Tuesday June 28th

Include your name, age, year and name of school. You can include your teacher’s email if you like.

P l e a s e    p u t   ‘Thing poem’ in the subject line of your email.

I will pick some favourites to post on the blog and have a book for at least one reader and maybe even a book for a class.

I will post on Thursday June 30th.


Autumn Poems on Poetry Box – a festival

So many wonderful Autumn poems arrived in my mail box – it was like a big mound of beautiful leaves to shuffle through.

With so many poems it was extra hard to pick a few to post – lots of wonderful poetry so I have made an Autumn festival of poems on the last day of Autumn. Poems can do so many different things!


Thank you so much for giving this challenge a go – just as winter is about to hit us.

I am sending Finn a book.

Please don’t feel sad if I didn’t pick your poem as I got so many it took all Sunday to read them and I have to leave out so many amazing poems. I will have told you what I loved about your poem in my letter to you. I am so happy there is so much poetry buzzing in schools and families.


Do try my new June challenge on Wednesday June 1st (tomorrow)!


A Small Boat

Sailing on the
deliciously warm
autumn days
when sunlight
dapples the sea

Finn P age 9, Ilam School





The gentle leaves fall and flow

down from the trees.

They change to lovely colours,

like kakariki,

to kowhai,

to whero.

They float down to the grass.

I wish I could be a leaf.

Erena H Age 6 Year 2 Epsom Normal Primary


The Autumn Wind

the autumn wind is a crunchy cookie

the autumn wind is a soft pillow

the autumn wind is a bird singing

the autumn wind is a beautiful mountain


Maddy W  7 years old Year 3 Pāpāroa Street School Christchurch



The Autumn Wind


the autumn wind is my great grandad’s wrinkly face

the autumn wind is a bird playing F-sharp minor being played on the piano

the autumn wind is a tornado blowing leaves down form the sky

the autumn wind is a swaying, turning whirlpool

the autumn wind is a cyclone lost from a breeze of wind


Jack S 8  years old Year 4 Pāpāroa Street School Christchurch


Windy Autumn

Crackle, crackle went the dry leaves as they bounced on the ground like they were on a trampoline.
I heard leaves making music as they crashed, crunched and clashed on to the ground like an enormous tom tom drum being beaten.
It made a sound like thunder.
I could see a crimson leaf swirling and twirling – twirling – twirling in the bright sunny morn. Leaves are memories floating down to be free.
I splash in pools of everlasting leaves.
Autumn, she blows the leaves.

Charlotte H 9 years 5 months, Year 5 Kohia Terrace School, Auckland.




It is a dull autumn morning.

The sun is peeping out from the clouds.

Insects are hiding in the golden leaves.

The colourful leaves look like a carpet on the damp ground.


 Zihao L Year 4 Age 8 Epsom Normal Primary


Autumn Treasure

The amber colours,
flutter down like soft balloons,
my cat follows the hibernating hedgehogs,
I get ready for the cold,
the blanket of sunset colours falls over me.

Ruby T Age 8, Y4, Ilam School



The Caretaker

As the children leave school

he sneaks out of his shed

with a rake and lawnmower.

He ruffles the bushes

and attacks the grass.

He rescues the leaves

and walks home.

His day is done.

Malo G 8 years old Fendalton Open Air School


Autumn Poem
Soft breeze pushing amber
Down to the lime green grass.
Popping candy pops
When I scrunch up
Scarlet red.
Twirling ballerinas
Falling to the ground.
Soft breeze
Pushing me away
From the beautiful leaves.
Oh, I love Autumn.

Abbie M, 8 years,  Year 4 Ilam School, Christchurch




The brown leaves

smell like sweet cinnamon

and are as crunchy

as a twig.

Light red leaves

slowly fall.

The ground is as bumpy

as a potato chip.

Trees are wet and bare.

William S  8 years Year: 4  St Andrews College, Christchurch


Falling Autumn Leaves

When I stepped out down came an autumn leaf

and landed swift and sound

with all the others,

all the autumn leaves in their many colours,

I watched in wonder.

By Lachie M 8yr Year 4 Mairangi Bay School, Auckland


Fire Red, Deep Brown, Pale Yellow

The Autumn leaves whirl around
like a hurricane in the chilly weather.
They have colours like fire red,
deep brown and pale yellow.
The trees, bare to the brim
are covered in sharp twigs.
It is as cold as ice.
My fingers are becoming numb
and my lips are turning blue.

Meg S, 9 years old, Year 5, Saint Andrew’s College, Christchurch.


Moonlight Autumn

In the sun of the Moonlight

I lay on the grass

with seven fireflies around me

I stand up and let the wind go by

I stand and say goodbye to Summer

and hello to Autumn after midnight

Seven minutes pass and I’m still

not tired.

Max Wilson Aged 6 Ilam School




Leaves fluttered down.

Trees blow in the wind.

They look like a skeleton.

Crunching like a ball of fire.

Maddie  Age 8  Year 4 Pāpāroa Street School Christchurch



Old ugly branches hung

like bats in their cave.

Bald tree

with curved witches nails.

The wind blew

like a tornado.

Leaves like red flames.

A nosy fantail followed me

for food.

 By Soverin T Y5 age 9 Russley School Christchurch



Autumn Wind

The autumn wind is a blowing circus.

The wind is like a tsunami.

The autumn wind is a rumbling tummy.


Nicholas T Age 7 Year 3 Pāpāroa Street School Christchurch



It’s getting darker now

My friends and I discuss in hushed voices

About how were getting ready to fall

When mother tree tucks us in

I dream about a world on the ground

By Daisy-Jane Lowe, age 11yrs Russley School




An innocent pile of leaves,

Drying in the morning sun.

The red-brown colours,

Fluttering in the crisp air.

The pile shifts,

Ever so slightly.



Out jumps my brother.

With damp leaves in his hair.

Isis W 13 years old Year 8 Selwyn House School



Thin old leaves

hang like a wrecking ball

on the end of a chain.


A curved purple leaf


on a thick brown branch.


A bald Silver Birch

stands like the Statue of Liberty

a leaf stem

as long as a baby snake.


Saffron leaves

like a bowl of nachos.


A game of rugby on a freezing icy day,

getting thrown on the ground

walking home with dirty legs.


By Gustavo D, age 10yrs, Russley School


I Love Autumn

I love the nice and cool autumn breeze

The way it raps its cold fingers around my knees.

I love watching the leaves get blown around

Down, down towards the ground.

I love the sound of the whispering trees

Moving back and forth as they please.

I love the taste of boiling hot stew

Waiting for winter to come to you.

I love the smell of sweet apple crumble

As soon as I see it, my tummy starts to rumble.

I love the feel, taste, sound, smell and sight.

I love autumn, but try as I might

I can’t find a way

To love winter in this way.

By Paige M West End School





The sun peeked behind the dead trees.

Wind raced around the place.

Leaves float gently down to the ground.

Ella X Year 4 8 years old Epsom Normal Primary


The Autumn Poem

Leaves, crackling, gold,

like a crunchy bar. Branches,

brown, thin, like an old man’s arms.

Leaves, quivering, hanging off.

Me and my friends play

rugby union at school, I hear people

yelling from the side line, I have

dirt on my legs and I’m laughing

and I have butterflies in

my stomach.

by Makenzy M, age 10 Russley School


My Little Autumn Tree

My little Autumn tree,
Stands strong and tall beside me.
Flaky branches reaching high,
Fingertips just scraping the sky.
The early morning frost makes you shiver,
But the warm fiery sun makes you shimmer.
Your crisp golden leaves twinkle and twirl,
And in the wind the whirl.
But my little Autumn tree,
What happens when your leaves begin to flee?
For they leave you all alone,
Cold and bare to the bone.
You watch them fly away,
Day after day.
Scattered beneath you,
Slowly drifting far away.
But don’t worry my little Autumn tree,
You’ll always have me.

Amy B Opaki School Age 12


Autumn poem

Leaves fall

slowly to the cold ground.


Red, orange, yellow everywhere,

not a drop of green in site.


Running through the colourful

crunching leaves, jumping

in wet leaf mountains.


Sleeping in warm toasty bed,

when the fire is out.


Waking up to a cold damp morning, ready for a new day.


Jenna L Age: 12 School: Opaki School



brown, old and ugly

like a witch’s nose

crunchy like stale bread.



bumpy like a climbing wall

swerve like big waves.


Leaves, red like a mad man

orange like juice

yellow like hard cheese.

By Bridget Egan, age 10yrs Russley School

Where has Rangitoto gone? some Auckland fog poems

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It is so WILD in Auckland I can’t see anything but GREY so when I came across this email from a teacher at Ignatius Primary School I decided to post their fog poems.

Meanwhile I busy reading all your fabulous Autumn poems and it is going to be SO hard to pick some to post on Tuesday as they are all so wonderful.

Great job Year 3! I loved reading these.



Can’t see far into the trees

Smells damp and wet

Tastes like little drops of water

Dogs, cats and people look like ghosts.

By Hamish


Windy like a storm coming

Wet and sticky, misty clouds all around

Feels like water, cold and wet.

Looks like ghostly shadows

and misty clouds,

Tastes like salt

Things in the distance

Big and bad tiger

Dark and hard to see

Sloppy like a frog

Wobbly like unbalanced people

Can’t really catch it like a fly.

Looks like lots of clouds

Stops you from seeing,

dark and hard to see like a black cat.

By Niamh Year 3


FOG……. Blank, blurry,

can’t see anything

Quiet, still,

reminds me of Halloween,


and creepy otters.

By Alex Year 3


Wet and sticky

Like a big cloud around you,

It’s a shadow from a distance

You can’t see anything when it’s foggy.

You sometimes need to turn your lights on when you’re driving in the car.

By Orla H. Year 3


Everywhere clouds

Wet, misty, foggy shadows in the distance

Salty, quiet, cloudy, plain.

Soggy sweating people,

Mash-pea soup.

Smells a bit funny, ghosty, cold

Frost, hard to see

Grey, snow flaky,

Thick or thin

By Olivia Year 3


Thick and damp

No shadows anywhere

Making the street quiet

Tastes like dirty water

Misty everywhere

You can see nothing

Wet and cold

Making things invisible

By Chris Year 3


Poetry Box May tips and challenges – all the leaves are falling

photo 3

my long shadow in the soft beach light


This month I thought it would be fun to write Autumn poems. We all write Autumn poems but we all experience Autumn differently. We start to eat different things, wear different things and we start to do different things.

I don’t think there is any topic in the WORLD that is all USED up.

Let’s share something about autumn in a poem.


Surprise me!


We have just explored how poems can sound good (check April 1sT) so use your ears as you write.


You might pick one Autumn thing to explore.

You might explore lots of little Autumn things.

Do you have an Autumn story?

Have you seen something amazing in Autumn?

Or tasted?


HOT TIP Good detail will make your poem hook the reader.

Try three different endings. Which is your favourite?


P  l  A    y       w       t

i       h               how you set your poem out. Try different ways.

Sometimes words on the page just flow. Sometimes they make a picture. What do you like?



HOT HOT HOT TIP: START by collecting lots of words to do with Autumn things. (Tip: hunt for lots of Autumn nouns and verbs before you try hunting for adjectives)


SEND your poem to paulajoygreen@gmail.com

DEADLINE Friday May 27th

Include your name, age, year and name of school. You can include your teacher’s email if you like.

P l e a s e    p u t   ‘Autumn poem’ in the subject line of your email.

I will pick some favourites to post on the blog and have a book for at least one reader and maybe even a book for a class.

I will post on Tuesday May 31st.


My favourite poems that sound good from your April challenge

In April I posted tips and challenges on writing poems that sound good.

Thanks for sharing! I loved reading them and saying them out loud.

I really like the way these three poems use sound differently.


Trinity plays with different line lengths so her poem sounds so good.

Vesper has worked on the flow of words so her poem flows beautifully. I love the way the word ‘slicing’ jumps off the line. And the word ‘shines.’  This poem gave me shivers on my skin as I read it. It starts with sound and then builds a picture.

I love the way Daniel and Gemma, brother and sister, wrote a poem together about their grandfather. I think repetition really adds to the sound of the poem beautifully. It is like a little grandfather chant.

I am sending a book to Vesper. If you missed out this time I am posting a new challenge tomorrow (the first day of the month!).



The Forest 

The light shines through the leaves like blades,

slicing through the night air.

I lie in my tent,

I hear the wind howling through the leaves.

I see Vesper the evening star,

watching over the city, and me.


by Vesper W Ilam School (Rm 7, age 6)

Vesper told me that ‘Vesper’ is another name in Latin and Greek mythology for evening star and that it also a name for evening song for evening prayers. How wonderfll is that!


Who is he?

Who is Ganga?

He is tall

Someone to look up to

His hair fuzzes around his ears

And his face shows smile lines

He is kind

Kind of wonderful

Speaks beautiful big words

Like a walking, talking book

He is my Ganga


Who is My Grandad?

He is an armchair Olympian

An awesome team player

Who knows every team

A warrior of words

Crosswords quiver when he picks up his pen

Cruising through retirement

Cruising round the world

Leaving one foot on each tide of the Tasman

He is my Grandad


Who is he?

He is grandfather, father, uncle and husband

He is friend, neighbour and mentor

He is strength, courage and wisdom

He is who we need him to be

He is


By Gemma (10) and Daniel L (6) Adventure School, Porirua



Here goes

Dip the paintbrush in the blue

First stroke

Create the waterfall and river outline


New colour

Dip the paintbrush in the brown

Second stroke

Create the cliff and sky outline


Detail time

Get another shade of light blue

First blend

Blend the two different blues together


More detail

Get another shade of dirt brown

Second blend

Blend the two different browns together

Trinity Age 10, Year 6, Gladstone School