Thursday, February 13, 2014

Writing Poetry with Kids on Valentine's Day

February is a great month to study poetry with your kids.  It is generally the month associated with love because of Valentine's Day, and a lot of poetry is all about LOVE.  One book I can recommend to use is It's Valentine's Day by Jack Prelutsky. Inside you will find fourteen different poems all pertaining to Valentine's Day.  My favorite is "I Love You More Than Applesauce."  It goes:

I love you more than applesauce, 
than peaches and a plum,
than chocolate hearts and cherry tarts
and berry bubblegum.

I love you more than lemonade
and seven-layer cakes,
than lollipops and candy drops 
and thick vanilla shakes.

I love you more than marzipan, 
than marmalade on toast,
oh I love the pies of an size, 
but I love you the most.

-Jack Prelutsky

This is a great poem to take and develop into a creative writing activity for your kids. Read the poem with your children and then tell them to rewrite the poem, changing the words to things they love.  Maybe they could create valentine's and use the poem as their message for a special person.  One year on Valentine's Day, I took this poem, rewrote it, and gave it to my husband as a gift.  I don't remember exactly how it went, but maybe something like this:

I love you more than Hershey's kisses,
than Rocky Road, or strawberry ice cream,
than chocolate thin mint cookies and peppermint shakes
and peanut butter fudge.

I love you more than Arnold Palmer's
and California Rolls,
than SPAM musubi, and malasadas
and blueberry pancakes.

I love you more than reading fiction,
than going to the movies,
oh I love all these things,
but I love you the most.

The poem in the book rhymed, and mine didn't, but you get the general idea. (This is a good opportunity to explain also that poetry doesn't always have to rhyme.  It will take less pressure off the activity if their poems don't have to rhyme.)   This activity is a fun way to get kid's writing and learning about poetry.  Have them follow the outline of the poem and share some details about themselves and they will have a lot of fun.  If you make writing fun, kids will enjoy it, and see that they have the ability to put pen to paper and be creative.

I hope you and your family enjoy this little writing activity!  Happy Valentine's Day!


"So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other.  Just as I have loved you, you should love each other."
~John 13:34

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