Poetry Tuesday

Rhyming, Poem Study, Haiku

Hello! Welcome to Poetry Tuesday: the day we dip (or dive) into the lovely world of poetry!

Each Tuesday from June 19 to September 4th, I’ll share a fun poetry activity plus a poem study for all ages, as well as an advanced poetry lesson for ages 14 and up. Feel free to enjoy one, two, or all three of these fun resources! Scroll down to find the Poem Study and the Advanced Poetry Lesson.

Fun Poetry Activity: All About Rhyming
(for kids, adults, and everyone in between!)

“Did you ever have a time when you couldn’t make a rhyme… down by the bay?”

Jillions of poems rhyme, especially poems written for children. In future weeks we’ll get to read some of those poems, make observations about them, and even write our own. So what is a rhyme?

1. Identifying rhymes:
Read these words aloud:
Cat, sat, bat, that, flat, pat, splat, mat, hat, muskrat, fat

Notice anything about this group of words?
That’s right! They all rhyme.
These are all words that rhyme with the word cat.Did you notice how the end sound of each word sounds the same? Cat, Sat, Bat etc.

Let’s try another word: in.
in, bin, sin, grin, pin, win, chin, fin, thin, tin, spin, twin, sheepskin, tailspin

Do you hear how similar they sound? They all have different sounds at the beginning but the end of the words all sound the same.

2. Practicing Rhymes:

Your turn!
Can you find at least one rhyme for each of these words? See how many you can come up with!

1. up
2. sad
3. hug
4. bog
5. eat
6. light
7. stay
8. tail
9. bell
10. ash

3. Writing rhyming sentences:
Would you like to do some more??
Try writing a sentence using mostly words that rhyme.

For example:
Bill still feels ill from his fill of gills on the grill.

Need a word to get you started? Try one of these:
cat
pickle
trip
fly

Need help rhyming your words? Try using a rhyming dictionary! There’s one online at:
https://www.rhymer.com/

If you come up with an especially fun sentence, share it in the comments below!

Poem study:

Let’s read a poem and study it together!
Not sure how to study a poem? Here are some ideas. Choose one or all of these:

  1. Read aloud and enjoy the poem
  2. Neatly write out your favorite stanza for handwriting practice or…
  3. Print out the poem by copying it into your word processor
  4. Draw a picture about the poem
  5. Circle the words that rhyme!
  6. Read more about the author’s life
  7. Share with someone you love <3

Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star

Twinkle, twinkle, little star,
How I wonder what you are!
Up above the world so high,
Like a diamond in the sky.

When this blazing sun is gone,
When he nothing shines upon,
Then you show your little light,
Twinkle, twinkle, through the night.

Then the traveller in the dark
Thanks you for your tiny spark;
He could not see where to go,
If you did not twinkle so.

In the dark blue sky you keep,
And often through my curtains peep,
For you never shut your eye
Till the sun is in the sky.

As your bright and tiny spark
Lights the traveller in the dark,
Though I know not what you are,
Twinkle, twinkle, little star.

Jane Taylor

Twinkle Twinkle Little Star

Advanced Poetry Lesson

The next two Tuesdays we will learn and practice the ancient art of Haiku.

A few things to understand about Haiku:

  1. Haiku are originally a form of Japanese poetry.
  2. Haiku are short, only having 3 lines
  3. They have no rhyme
  4. They have a 5-7-5 syllable structure (see below!)
  5. Each poem captures a moment
  6. Haiku poems show the world like it is (concrete, rather than abstract)
  7. They usually contain something from nature and a word that shows what season it is
  8. They often leave you feeling thoughtful

Great! So… how do you write them?

It might help to talk about the structure of the poem. It’s hard to build a building without structure, isn’t it? So what is the structure of a Haiku?

A. Syllables
1st line: 5 syllables
2nd line: 7 syllables
3rd line: 5 syllables

For example…


Whitecaps on the bay:
A broken signboard banging
In the April wind.

— Richard Wright

Oftentimes Haiku poems follow the 5-7-5 syllable rule in Japanese but once they’re translated into English, the structure has to change a little. (Note: See the seasonal word here? April)

B. Two Images
Haiku are often made of two different thoughts or images. One thought or image is across two lines and the other is across one. For example:

new pond—
the first tadpole
wriggles over clean stones

-Christopher Herold

“New pond” is one thought, and “the first tadpole wriggles over clean stones” is the second thought. See how the second thought takes up two lines?

C.  A Cut
Another aspect of Haiku it that they usually contain a cut, or break, somewhere in the poem. For example:

summer grasses—
all that remains
of a warriors’ dreams

-Matsuo Basho (1644-1694)

See the cut after the first line?

Ready to write a Haiku?

I suggest finding a quiet place and thinking about your surroundings. If you can go outside, great! Try to describe, using a haiku, what you see, hear, smell, feel, or taste in two different images. It can be a little tricky, but the result is often surprisingly lovely.

Love your Haiku and want to share? Share it in the comments below!

Want to learn more or understand Haiku better?
Here’s a great video on YouTube that I thought expressed the topic well.
https://youtu.be/yUDuRwKwh8k