Tag Archives: Poetry Box Poetry challenge

Poetry Box May Challenge: Talking with our grandparents




TIP: If you are a keen young writer get a parent to follow my blog so you keep up to date with the challenges I post. Look down the sidebar.


Last week I posted a review of Encyclopedia of Grannies because I loved the book so much. It has inspired this month’s challenge.

Here is my favourite page from the book (thanks Gecko Press for letting me share it!).



Encyclopedia of Grannies spread 3.jpg


Thanks to GECKO PRESS one young poet will receive a copy of the book!



I invite you to write a poem after talking (in person, on the phone, by email or snail mail) to one of your grandparents, or an elder in your whanau, or an old person you know and care about.

Inside every old person is a little house and the child that used to be! That is like a poem!

Let’s go exploring and find out about the girl granny, the boy granddad, the child elder and the youngster old person. Let’s go exploring and find out what your granny loves to do right now. What is it like being old?


First: make a list of questions

Second: ask the questions

Third: use the answers to write a poem. Show me what surprised you. Show me how our treasured old people are rich in stories and wisdom. You might want to write a suite of little poems or one long poem.




Here are some starting points to help (I say granny but it can be any old person):


Does your granny have a nickname?

What can she remember about when she was little?

What does your granny like to do now?

What is it like being old?

What makes her happy?

What makes her sad?

What important question would you ask her?

What bit of wisdom can she share?

Does your granny have a saying?

Has your granny ever done some funny? Adventurous? Surprising?

What is the most adventurous thing she would love to do in a made-up poem or story where she can do ANYTHING!!

What is her favourite meal / food?

Where does she like to hang out?

What is her favourite animal?

What is the most fascinating place she has ever visited?

Find a copy of Encyclopedia of Grannies as it might give you inspiration like it did me.


Deadline: 26th May

Send to: paulajoygreen@gmail.com

Please include: your name, age, year, name of school

Don’t forget to put OLD PEOPLE POEM in subject line so I don’t miss your email.

Open to Year 0 to Year 8 in Aotearoa.

I will write letters back at the end of the month.

I will have the book to give away thanks to Gecko Press.


Extra challenges for passionate young poets

Remember my blog is all about the joy of writing and reading poetry (it is never a competition!) – and setting you challenges! Here are some I am running in all year. Email me if you want to do one and want tips on what top do next. I will email you back asap!


Review a poetry book

Interview a NZ children’s author

Write a letter to a NZ children’s author

Write a letter to a poet from anywhere and any time ( I will give tips)

Show a cool class poetry exercise with poems you have done (from a child or from teacher and class)