Kids write rhyme to go along with an old calendar picture. This lesson has been a big hit EVERY TIME! Kids write rhyme every summer at our week long poetry camp.
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The calendar picture can be about ANY topic. This summer, Calendars.com generously donated a box of calendars for me to use in my own teaching and to also donate to teachers who use the Fun Writing Ideas lessons.
The box included a wide array of topics.
My own kids write rhyme. After receiving the box of calendars, my sons completed the following rhymes to go along with their mineral pictures:
Have Plenty to Choose From
Kids LOVE choosing a picture to write about! Make sure you have plenty of calendar pages of anything (or of a specific theme that you’re focusing on).
Choosing a picture is highly motivating so you want to make sure that the last students aren’t “stuck” with the one or two pictures left. For example, I’d pick up 3 calendars (36 pictures) for a group of 24 kids.
To read the complete post on how to use old calendar pages for various writing prompts, click here.
Common Core State Standards
NOTE: This lesson can address the following Common Core State Standard: CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RF.K.2.A.
NOW THE LESSON!
- Have the children list across the top of a piece of paper things that they see or think of in the calendar page. For the following calendar page I wrote:
- Next, under each word across the top, list words that rhyme. I encourage the children to go right down the alphabet, replacing the first letter with A, B, C, D, E and so on all the way to Z. Their paper could look something like this:
3. Show the children that in a couplet, the two end words will rhyme. On the whiteboard, I draw two lines, one under the other. Each line has a box at the end to show where the rhyming words should be placed.
4. Then, show them that for a quatrain, the 2nd and 4th lines often rhyme. Draw four lines with a box at the end of the 2nd and 4th lines.
5. Give a couple examples of 2 line couplets that you have written. For the barn and field of sunflowers picture above I read to them:
Sit for hours
The sky is vast, peaceful and blue.
Sunflowers looking at you.
Sample Quatrains that Rhyme
6. Give a couple examples of 4 line quatrains that you have written. For the barn and field of sunflowers picture I read to them:
A rickety old barn
A field of sunflowers.
A row of strong green trees.
All still for hours.
Hundreds of sunflowers.
Together without a fight.
Still and watching.
Even through the night.
NOW TO WRITE!
- The children write their couplets or quatrains on a scrap piece of paper.
2. Check their rhyme and placement of words. If they have written their couplets or quatrains correctly, they can write a final draft.
Young writers with large handwriting can write their final draft on a regular piece of paper (8.5”x11”) and glue it to the back of their picture.
Older writers who write more than 4 lines may also want the larger paper.
Here’s a nice page with a border if you’d like to use it.
Students with smaller handwriting can write their final draft on a small piece of paper, cut it out and glue it onto the picture itself.
Every now and then I have an older writer who wants to write more than one quatrain for the picture. In that case, they’ll also write it on a large piece of paper and glue it to the back:
Small children may only complete one short couplet. Older children may complete 2, 3 or 4 couplets or quatrains, depending on their skill and enthusiasm, and also the amount of time allowed. So make sure you have plenty of calendar pages available!
Print the Lesson
Calendar pictures are the most popular art accents I use. Kids LOVE to choose a picture to write about. Read my introductory post about Calendar Pictures to find out where to get them and how to use them.
GAMES TO PLAY!
Correct the Paragraph (in this case, use a poem from a Shel Silverstein book or other fun rhymes)