Tag Archives: Poetry challenge

October challenges in time for the holidays: found poems and book-spine poems

A few months ago, I invited you to invent some poetry challenges. Daniel and Gemma sent in these two which I thought would be fun. Thanks!

So your challenge is to write a found poem (you have to go finding first so see my tips and examples) or assemble a book-spine poem (see my tips).

 

Gemma: Write a found poem

 So what is a found poem?

You use words or phrases you read or hear and turn them into a poem.

It might be signs or something in the newspaper. You borrow the words or phrases!

It might be a letter or a notice. Circle the words and phrases you want to use as Gemma does below.

It might be billboard or road signs.

It might be words and phrases you read in a book. Say what the book is.

 

It might be a conversation you hear. I love collecting things people say when I am out.

It might be comments in a visitor’s book. Bill Manhire did this at Shackleton’s Hut!!

It might be junk mail headings or ad slogans.

Give your poem a title.

 

Here are three I did:

 

Happy Days!

This is not any sofa.

The milk on everyone’s lips.

Need long shoes?

 

[I got these lines from ads in a magazine]

 

The Beach

keep off the grass

swim between the flags

falling rocks unstable cliffs

dottorel nesting

west coast veggie burger

[signs I saw at the beach]

 

Road Trip

Slow down

Slow down

Give way

Children crossing

Stop

Ice

Stop

Roadworks

Detour

Flooding

Stop Stop

[road signs]

 

Friday

Something good

much hope,

count the chickens

the horses

the little palace

the curving staircase

afternoon tea,

his birthday.

 

[from first page of Barbara Else’s fabulous The Travelling Restaurant]

 

 

Here’s one Gemma did:

A motivation found poem

Plan consistently
Prepare for improvements
Encourage
Improve
And learn more.

Gemma

 

You can see where she got her words from (you could use a magazine or newspaper or book page – say what you used):

Scan.jpeg

 

 

 

Daniel: Use the the titles on books spines to make a poem.

You can photo them like Daniel did or just type them like I did.

So what is a book-spine poem?

You stack books so the tiles on the spines read like a poem.

See my example and the photo Gemma and Daniel sent.

 

 

A Very Busy Kitchen

The 10 PM Question:

Stuart Little

Little Bear

Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus

In the Midnight Kitchen

 

Go Dogs Go’

Green Eggs and Ham

Goodnight Moon

Paula

 

Here’s one Daniel and Gemma did for their school library

IMG_0861.JPG:

 

Only one you
An unexpected hero
Not bad for a bad lad
Braving it
Being happy
You be you.

 

H a v e     f u n    !  !   !

 

Send to paulajoygreen@gmail.com by 27th October. I will post some favourites on 31st October and have a poetry book for at least one reader. It is not a competition though!

Please include your name, age, year and name of school. I won’t post poems if I don’t have these details.

IMPORTANT:  Put FOUND POEM or BOOK SPINE POEM  in the subject line of the email please.

September challenge: Some of my favourite IMAGINATIVE poems

Thanks so much for sharing your BOUNDING imaginations in the form of a poem.

Poems are HUNGRY for bounding imaginations.

I loved reading them all and it was hard to pick a few  (well this is quite a LOT!)

 

I have a book for Lily, Tom and Cale.

 

Elementor Leopards

Their eyes are like the stormiest nights,
like Poseidon and Zeus fighting, the water.
Their noses are redder than a foxes tail, fire.
The lips of this leopard are the darkest green ever seen, earth.
There is a swirl on their forehead whiter than cloud, sky.
It was wonderful.

Its rosettes are like all the elements in a ball.
Earth was in the middle then little stripes of fire, water and air
were curved around the sides.
It was beautiful.

Leopards of the elements.

Lily M age: 8 year: 4 Paekakariki School

 

A stone

A stone lay high on the mountain top

And it turned into a bright blue gem

And that gem turned into a carbon black flame

Which flickered bright as the distant stars

And that plane turned into a tiny beige leaf

And that leaf turned into a jaguar

And that jaguar ran down the mountain

And came to a sudden halt.

At the edge of a forest he stood there waiting

And turned into a piece of cobalt

And that miniature piece of cobalt

Was picked up by a drone

And that drone dropped it on a mountain

where it warped back into a stone.

 

By Cale Year 8, age 12 Rangeview Intermediate School

 

A Giol Called Scover
I saw a Giol on Sunday,
A Giol is a bird.
It looked at me as if to say,
Gee man, you’re absurd.

He looked kind of green
With pink spots all over
I said to him
“I think I’ll name you Scover.”

Scover climbed a tree
And then he climbed the sky
I said I thought it was impossible
And he said na- you try.

I climbed the sky but fell back
And yelled the bad word sciof
I came back down again black and bruised
And he said guiltily “Well I’d better be off.”

He never came back after that
I thought I’d changed his mind
But he came back on Thursday
But he was a whole lot less kind.

Sylvie King, age 10, Selwyn House School

 

Flight

The fluttering pack of birds fly away to open a magnificent wonder world of magic. I see a pack of whirling wolves and flying pigs. I walk forward to find a castle filled with colour. I then discover a dark room. I walk to the middle of the room then start flying. I crash through the window and into the world.

By Daniel F Age 9 Fendalton School

 

Wild Imagination
I woke one morning.
The moon was cooking me breakfast.
I went outside.
There was the sun playing Go Fish.
I raced to school.
Instead of my teacher, there was a seagull.
My school was just a school of sardines.
I raced back home.
The house next door was made of cats and yarn.
My room was floating on water.

Honor, age 10, Selwyn House School

Stories

My best friend and I used to make up stories,
Of dragons, princesses and knights,
Of beautiful maidens,
And ballerinas in shining lights.

We would be the main characters in each story,
Fighting dragons and slimy creatures,
Killing all the villains,
And all the evil teachers.

We would dance like elegant swans,
And sing like chirping birds,
We would leap like fierce cheetahs,
With emotion coming out from every single move or word.

My friend and I are older now,
Instead of books,
We have phones,
It keeps us busy every single day,
Keeping us prisoners in our homes.

There is no such thing as magic anymore,
No faraway lands to see,
That used to keep us up late at night,
Fidgeting in our beds with glee.

I guess everybody gets older someday,
And forgets about their childish ways,
Some people don’t see what’s happening,
When they waste away their days.

Zoe G 12 years old St Cuthberts College

 

 

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Kylie, age 12, Rangeview Intermediate

 

Burnt Toast

Burnt your toast?

Not such a bad thing

Look at what you have created

Or even better… imaginated

 

Carve a shape for a toast sculpture

Or use little pieces for a toast mosaic

 

With a pinch of out of the box thinking

You might find you’ve made a mask

Or a fly swat

Or a trail marker on the ground

 

Add a smear of peanut butter and it is a bird feeder

Or turn it into chippies for ducks

 

Look, you’ve made a new Frisbee!

Or grab a Ping-Pong ball and play toast tennis

 

Stack it up. Make a hole in the middle. Enjoy your candle holder.

Or perhaps it is a fire starter

 

You could even strap it to your feet and show the world your new shoes

 

Burnt toast

The end of the world

Or the start of something great

It’s all in the way you imaginate

Gemma, age 11, Adventure School

 

 

The Eeb Evih Needs

The Eeb Evih needs:
peanut butter ice cream
visiting its evih
travelling in swarms
from Cape Reinga
to Bluff

The Eeb Evih needs:
wings to carry it
to New Plymouth
to visit the Len Lye Gallery

The Eeb Evih needs:
legs to carry honey
to Te Papa
to show New Zealand
how clever they are

The Eeb Evih needs:
arms to repair the evih
after its journey.

Joshua P 12 yrs old Medbury School, Christchurch

 

LIGHT THOUGHTS

I store the light

So it’s bright at night

Though I do feel sad when I’m on all night

I flicker and flutter

And run out of power.

 

I am happy when you are under me

I am comforted and not lonely

I would like to change my glow

So there is a soft light flow

 

But please don’t leave me on all night

Otherwise I won’t be so bright.

Daniel, age 9, Adventure School

 

Candy Man

Meet Candy Man
His name is Dan.
His hair is chocolate ice,
his head is chocolate rice.
Mentos eyes,
candy cane nose.
His mouth is in
two jelly bean rows.
Chewing gum scarf,
makes me laugh.
Candy floss tummy,
that’s so yummy.
M&M spots,
lots of dots.
Boots of jelly
for his welly boots.

By Philipp Age 9 Samoan Unit Richmond Road School

 

Wild Pet

My wild pet is a lion and a bird.
Together I call him Liord.
He has a long beak
a tired tale
It’s feathers fling
It’s wings go up and down
when he’s in town.
His fur is bushy
just like my hair.
That’s Liord!

By Alani Age 9 Samoan Unit Richmond Road School

 

Mashups

Lamb and Genie, riding in a Lamborghini.
Bear and horse together is Borse.
Poster and book, a Pohook.
Water and fizzy is Wafizzy.
Apple and banana, a Panana.
Computer and iPad, Compad.
Black and blue, red an white
What do they have in common?
They are all colours.
What about Blaue?
and Rite?
Are they colours too?

By Videl Age 11 Samoan Unit Richmond Road School

 

Fruit Man

His feet are medium oranges
His legs are rotten bananas
His stomach is a humungous apple
His chest is a poisoned pear
His neck is a bumpy boysenberry
His head is a square strawberry
His mouth is a bearded banana
His nose is a little blackberry
His eyes are ice-cream blueberries
His ears are small pineapples
and his hair is black and yellow liquorice!

By Oliana Age 10 Samoan Unit Richmond Road School

 

 

The Imagination Road

The dim lights cover,
The Imagination road,
Where anything is possible.
Just take a stroll.
The candy floss may fall on your head,
The chocolate coated trees may be just divine,
But as long as you make it to the
Jelly pit,
And do 5 flips,
Until you feel bouncy,
And alive.
At the end of the day,
Animals will parole the streets,
And deliver you back,
To the Imagination station.

Evie Johnson age 11 Selwyn House School

 

 

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Tom, age 9, Hoon Hay School, Christchurch

 

The Golcher

The Golcher is a scary beast.
It lives in a cave under the street
and feeds
on chuckly bones and goblin meat,
and when it feeds
its scaly wings
flap with joy.
His body is the opposite…
as cuddly as a fluffy toy.

By Alexander M Age 9 LS7 Westmere School

 

The Land of Topsy Turvey

Sea in the sky
where dolphins fly
and little fish dive
and octopie jive.
Unicorns dance
and Pegasus prance.
Griffins from France
look on in askance.
At the land of Topsy Turvey
people come to ride a whale or
swim in the rainbow sea.
Kids come to eat
unhealthy, healthy things or
run around in an upside down tower
looking around at teacher’s dancing
and relievers prancing
at the land of Topsy Turvey.

By Sophie M-R Age 10 LS7 Westmere School

 

Labrasneel

Endless eyes
eating
endless flies.
The Labrasneel.
Is a snake
and an
eel.
Walking on the beach
with his ugly
webbed feet.
With his black labrador face
He’ll win every race…
Beneath the sharp teeth
Lies the toungue.
Number one!

By Mia M Age 10 LS7 Westmere School

 

Drip Drop

Drip Drop
Round the clock.
Tic toc
Tic toc
Tic.
Mr Dun made a bun
Out of pungy lungy lung.
He started to lick
Then ate it quick.
Tic toc
Tic toc
Tic.

By Taylor M Age 11 LS6 Westmere School

 

Sleep

Jiggle juggle what a struggle
Here and there a flying pear.
Listening out, can’t get out.
The moon is so bright, like the sunlight.
Can’t get to sleep without counting sheep.
Shimmering here, limmering there.
My eyes are rocks, theyr’e starting to stop.
Tic Toc that’s the clock.
Stars are so bright, like the moonlight.
The phone is buzzing all night long.
I roll over from side to side.
Pitter patter, the rain is starting.

By: Genevieve age 9, Neve age 10 and Charlie D age 10 LS6 Westmere School

 

 

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By Aastha Year 8, age 13 Rangeview intermediate school

 

Trapped

Standing in the cold damp darkness

I stare at the faint sunlight above

My slimy green legs stuck on the mossy green grass

I croak for Hungry

My long tongue slips out catching a fly that was hovering above

I’m tired

I sleep

And I never wake up again

Iris, Fendalton School

Poetry Box September challenge needs a tablespoon of imagination!

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Go here to The Sapling for my alphabet of children’s poetry books. Joy is Joy Cowley and also in my list.

 

The Sapling is a great new NZ website that celebrates children’s books. I got asked to list some of my favourite children’s poetry books for Poetry Day and decided to make an alphabet of them.

One of my favourite children’s poetry books is by Margaret Mahy – she had such a TERRIFIC imagination, her poems fill you with surprise. She also had an excellent poetry ear and was very good at making up words.

So in honour of dear Margaret Mahy, your September challenge is to use your imagination in a poem.

 

You might want to invent things or places or people.

You might want to invent new words to do the best job.

You might want to imagine somewhere you have never been but that is a real place or time.

 

Imaginations work with real things and with invented things.

Imaginations let you have fun.

 

The most important thing about Poetry Box is to light up with the joy of writing poems.

 

You might play with how you set your poem out.

You might play with how your poem sounds.

 

Send to paulajoygreen@gmail.com by 26th September. I will post some favourites on 30th September and have a book for at least one reader. It is not a competition though!

Please include your name, age, year and name of school. I won’t post poems if I don’t have these details.

IMPORTANT:  Put IMAGINATION challenge in the subject line of the email please.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

August challenge: list poems

 

 

 

I am a big fan

of list poems

because they might

play with sound

the way  a poem flows

collect things

twisty endings

twisty beginnings

the way rhyme can leapfrog through a list

collect more things

open up a topic

show what’s in your fridge

or under your bed

or in the sky

or red

or soft

or noisy

or swift moving

or makes you angry

or sad

or happy

or tastes good

or reminds you

of something or somwhere

 

a list poem

might be like

an old junk shop

or the back of a truck

or the sandpit

or inside my head

when I am thinking of a really really really long line that wants to stretch wide

or a short

snip snap

l

i n

e

because list

poems can do

anything

 

you just need

to look

and list

en!

 

Send to paulajoygreen@gmail.com by 29th August. I will post some favourites on 31st August and have a book for at least one reader.

Please include your name, age, year and name of school. I won’t post poems if I don’t have these details.

IMPORTANT:  Put LIST challenge in the subject line of the email please.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Poetry Box July Challenge (holiday and school): Other shoes

Just gave you a few more days – but try this challenge in the holidays

DSCN8867.jpg

 

The June challenges almost broke my email box I received so many poems which was

f    a   b   u   l   o   u   s !

I loved reading them all, and did feel a little bit sad I couldn’t share them all.

 

This month I want you to get your imagination      b o u n c i n g

because I want you to imagine you are someone or something else in your poem!

 

HOT TIP: Before you start writing collect a page of words and details to PLAY with in your poem.

 

Imagining someone else

You might be a real person from HISTORY so you might need to do some research to get some clues about the person and what life was like when they lived.

You might like to write as though you are a CHARACTER from a book you love. Show them in a different light doing something different that didn’t make it into the book. Or replay something that did.

You might like to invent a person   …. your own CHARACTER! Use strong detail to make your character come alive in your poem.

 

Imagining you are a thing

Try writing a poem as though you are a rugby ball or a vacuum cleaner or a clock or a computer or a rocket or a bicycle or an old sofa  …..  OR YOU CHOOSE!

 

Some poetry tips

Don’t send me the poem the day you write it. Let it sit for at least a day then read it out loud. This is what I do.

Play with the order of words.

Play with how many words you put on the line.

Show things in your poem to do with your character or object –  NOUNS!

Show action – your character or object doing things. (if it fits)

You might like to have your character SAY things.

You can either write an I or He or She poem  (I seem to be running slow, he is so tall he can get the apples off the tree, she can fly like a Haast eagle)

Think about the title of your poem.

Try three DIFFERENT endings, then pick your favourite.

 

 

Send to paulajoygreen@gmail.com by 30th July. I will post some favourites on 1st August and have a book for at least one reader.

Please include your name, age, year and name of school. I won’t post poems if I don’t have these details.

IMPORTANT:  Put OTHER SHOES challenge in the subject line of the email please.

 

 

 

Two June Challenges: Poetry parcels and Joy Cowley’s Snake and Lizard

Welcome young poetry fans  – I am so so so so so busy this year I am a day late. I am thinking hard and writing hard about what poetry can do.  So that inspired my first challenge.

 

Challenge One:

 

Poems can do and play and puzzle with so many things.

Poems can sound as good as a song.

Poems can build lists and make pictures grow in your head.

Poems can whizz or go slow.

They might surprise or soothe or shock or challenge you. You might laugh

or frown or cry as you read.

They can be short or long like a letter or a huge birthday parcel.

 

Your challenge is to write a poem about:     Poetry – writing poems or reading poems .

 

What are poems like to you? What do you love about poems?

What do they remind you of? Where do you read them or write them?

Find some good VERBS for what a poem DOES.

Find some sizzling SIMILES.

 

Send to paulajoygreen@gmail.com by 26th JUNE. I will post some favourites on JUNE 30th and have a copy of the book for one reader.

Include your name, age, year and name of school.

IMPORTANT: Put POEM POETRY challenge in the subject line of the email please.

 

 

Challenge Two

 

Helper-and-Helper-cover-768x1067.jpg

I am a HUGE fan of Joy Cowley and Gavin Bishop and I especially love their Snake and Lizard books.

 

So on a very wet Sunday afternoon I gobbled up the new one: Helper and Helper.

 

Gavin’s illustrations are sheer beauty.

Joy’s stories are warm and wise and witty. Her sentences are like clear shiny streams.

 

Snake and Lizard are full to the brim with life and show us the power of friendship. Being friends is bumps and hills and new days and arguments and listening and kindness and discoveries.

When I read these stories I fill with warmth and good feelings and just want to write poems or even give stories a go.

 

a n o t h e r   c h a l l e n g e

I LOVE LOVE LOVE these stories so much I am challenging you to write a ‘Snake and Lizard’ poem (You can do more than one!). Read the book first to get inspired by the characters. Make up what happens. It can be something very small and curious.

I have the book to give to one young poet thanks to GECKO PRESS.

 

 Send to paulajoygreen@gmail.com by 26th JUNE. I will post some favourites on JUNE 30th and have a copy of the book for one reader.

Include your name, age, year and name of school.

IMPORTANT:  Put SNAKE and LIZARD challenge in the subject line of the email please.

 

 

An April-May challenge on Poetry Box: season your poem

 

 

You may also like to try my two challenges hiding in my Gecko Press books post. Please put ‘GECKO’ or ‘Lizard and Snake’ in the subject line so I don’t get in a SPAGHETTI muddle!

 

The April-May challenge:  Writer an AUTUMN poem.

 

A HOT tip for the CHALLENGE:

You have longer to work on these poems because I am going to be off-line until mid May!

I won’t read your poems until then!!!!

Try to hold onto the poem and look at it a week or so later.

Try listening to your poem to see which words you love and which words you might like to change.

I love every season and I love seasoning my poems with seasons.

Play with my suggestions!

 

 

Some ideas:

Collect autumn words and make a pattern in your poem.

Collect the sounds of autumn.

Show autumn out your window or in your back garden.

Use words to take a photo of autumn.

Tell an autumn story in a poem. Listen to how it sounds when you read it.

Show autumn weather. Collect 30 words first. Or 20. Or 10. Or 5.

Write an autumn list poem.

Make an autumn shape poem (a leaf, a bare tree, autumn vegetables and so on) and send a photo.

Write a poem with a friend, alternating lines.

Make the first line the same as the last.

Choose a strong autumn word to repeat through your poem.

Play with how many words go on the line.

Write an autumn poem with NO adjectives. * A book for someone who does this beautifully*

Write an autumn poem with strong verbs.

Try three different endings for me to see.

Try three different first lines for me to see.

Hide a mood in your poem.

Collect your favourite autumn things. Put them in your poem.

 

Deadline: May 5th

I will post:  May 10th or 11th

Send to: paulajoygreen@gmail.com

Include: your name, age, year, school AND put autumn poem in subject line please!

 

h a v e     f u n

 

 

t h i s  n o t  a competition  b u t

a way to challenge yourself as a poet!

 

have extra STUPENDOUS  fun!