Tag Archives: juicy words

NZ Poetry Box Poetry Play #2 Word Puddles

CHALLENGE TIP: I will have given you three different challenges this week: Write a poem that sounds good. Tell me about your favourite MARGARET MAHY poem. Make a word puddle (that’s today). You can try all! Just let me know which challenge it is please. Don’t forget your name, age, year, name of school, teacher and their email address (if possible). Send to paulajoygreen@gmail.com. If you have questions post them on here and I will answer for everyone to see.

After weeks and weeks of dry weather it has been raining and showering where I live. We are lucky as we have one huge water tank and one medium water tank and they have done a good job this summer (plus we have learnt to be careful). But yeah! for the rain.

I looked out my door at the puddle of water on the deck and it seemed surprising to see it there. It made me want to write a word puddle. I was not sure what a word puddle might be at first. Then I decided it was somewhere you put words you like that sound good together. Feel free to have a go and send me your results: paulajoygreen@gmail.com


wet slosh slish wash

water wetter drip drop

cool melon cold ice

soft shower tongue out




sticky chocolate sweet slurp

chocolate treat scrumptious eat

velvety smooth slickity lips

scrumichocs chocolate box

Poetry Box Tip #3 Juicy Words

When we make poems we use words. Words are the magical, stretchy, sparking and sparkling tool that give life to what we put on the page. Words can be plain, tricky, easy, difficult, extravagant, economical (and here, as Lemony Snickett might say, I mean using only what you need and no more), acrobatic or mean more than one thing. I can feel my brain prickling and dancing as I start this list knowing the list could get as long as a very long and wiggly snake!

Ruth Padel a famous British poet likes words and poems to be chewy. I like that idea and I also love words to be juicy.

Sometimes when I start a poem I will go on the hunt for words. I have my butterfly net out and I try to catch as many as I can to write down. If I am trying to think of a colour that matches our dog Nonu, I try to think of as many as I can. If I am trying to think of how my dog moves I try to think of at least five. I might end up with over fifty words on my page when I stop hunting.

Try this juicy word hunt:

1 Think of an animal.

2. Go hunting for words to put on the paper. Collect as many words as you can.

3. Hunt for words that show how the animal moves, what sound it makes, what its fur or skin looks like, the pattern, its size. Hunt for words that show more about any special features the animal has such as a horn or a trunk or tail or ears. Don’t just stop at one word — keep your butterfly net moving!

4. Underline the words that stand out to you. See if you can put some of these in your poem.

5. Try putting three words that sound good together. Say them out loud.

6. Now use some of your words to write an animal poem.

7. Listen to someone else read their poem and listen out for the word that stands out: the juicy word.

Poetry Box Challenge #2 Small Poems

WELCOME to the third week of the New Zealand Poetry Box for children. Thanks to everyone who has viewed it (well over two thousand views) and from all over the world (including New Zealand, Australia, USA, Britain, Jamaica, Mexico, India and Germany). Thanks too for the emails, the comments and the poems that are arriving in my physical Post Box for the Fabulous Poetry Competition for Children. If you scroll down the right bar you can follow me to get an email every time I post something. A special thumbs up to Christchurch. I am getting a huge response from you!

This week is Animal week. On Monday I will set you a poetry challenge, on Tuesday I will give you a poetry tip that might help you with the challenge, on Wednesday I will tell you all about my first book for children, Flamingo Bendalingo and post some poems from it, on Thursday I will tell you about a book of poems by the fabulous Joy Cowley and on Friday I will post the winner of Monday’s challenge. (BTW I took these photos at Auckland Zoo in January.)

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Let’s go Poetry!

Poetry Challenge #2 A Short Poem

I love little poems. Some of my favourite poets have written great short poems that are like eating little chocolates or sucking on a sweet strawberry. You bite, you swallow, then the flavour lingers for ages.

When you write a short poem every word has to be just right and every word has to be in the perfect place. Short poems might have two lines but they might have six lines.

I challenge you to write an animal poem using no more than fifteen words (ok you might get away with sixteen but twenty is too many!).

Send your entry to paulajoygreen@gmail.com. Include your name, class, age, name of school, teacher’s name and email address (home schoolers/correspondence students your parent’s name and email adress please). The winner will get a copy of my book Flamingo Bendalingo (thanks to Auckland University Press).

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