Kids really like to write rhyme! In this post, I’m going to show you how kids can write rhyme to go along with an old calendar picture, which has been a big hit EVERY TIME! Secondly, I’m going to show you how kids can write their own nursery rhymes. Kids love the silly twist on familiar poems!
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Kids write rhyme to go along with a calendar picture every summer at our week long poetry camp. 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
Here’s the full lesson for you to print out and use.
Here’s a PDF printout of the sunflowers picture and poem.
If you enjoyed this lesson, you’ll also want to try writing St. Patrick’s Day Limericks, I’m Thankful For, “Packing”-A List Poem.
EASY ART ACCENTS
Calendar pictures are the most popular art accents I use. Kids LOVE to choose a picture to write about. Find 16 Writing Activities and Lesson to go along with Calendar Pictures to find out where to get them and how to use them.
Writing Their Own Nursery Rhymes!
For the last three years now, I’ve started off our week long poetry camp using this lesson. Each year, I simply change the nursery rhymes that we use. This lesson always creates so many laughs!
Familiar Nursery Rhymes
Basically, we take a familiar nursery rhyme and change the words to fit our theme! Because nursery rhymes are shorter, the campers write a first and final draft for this prompt. I give them blank copy paper for their first draft and blank bordered paper for their final draft. (To see how I conduct all other writing prompts you can read the Writing Prompts Introduction post here.)
Listen to Nursery Rhymes
Check out this video to get the kids thinking about familiar nursery rhymes:
Top 10-Ten Most Popular Nursery Rhyme Collection
Now for the lessons!
The first summer, I used One, Two, Buckle My Shoe. Here’s the full lesson for you to print out and use.
Then, the second summer, I used Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star. Here’s the full lesson for you to print out and use.
Around the World Poetry
For our Around the World poetry camp last summer, I used, Mary Had a Little Lamb. Here’s the full lesson for you to print out and use.
Students can illustrate their poems with stickers or simple drawings that accompany the theme.
GAMES TO PLAY!
Correct the paragraph using a nursery rhyme
Fill in the blank-Rhyme
Fill in the Blank Rhyme is fast and fun!
Common Core State Standards
NOTE: This game can address the following Common Core Standard: CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RF.K.2.A
First, divide the group of children into two groups, a left side and a right side.
Then, one child from each group stands up. Begin a phrase from this list.
Next, the two children race to fill in the blank with a word that rhymes with the phrase!
Fourth, they sit. The next two stand. It’s meant to move quickly and often gets fun and silly!
For example, “Shout a ____” may stump the children so they’ll shout out made up words (that indeed rhyme). You can accept these made up words or wait for them to come up with something that is real such as “Shout a pout,” which itself is funny.
You don’t need to go through the entire list. Play according to the time you have. There are no points, no wins. Just fun!
Print the Instructions
Here are the instructions for you to print out and use.
We also play the regular Fill in the Blank game (without rhyme) following various writing prompts. It can go along with ANY prompt really. It’s just a fast, short, sweet, fun game to play anytime!