Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Poetry Tag: Connecting Poems for Young People

To celebrate National Poetry Month (in April or any other month), try this game of Poetry Tag. Choose a poem to begin. Find another poem to link to it based on some connection between the two poems: a word, an image, a topic, the form, or a poetic device, etc. Then find a third poem linked to the second one in some way. Then a fourth linked to the third. And so on. The connections may be different each time, taking the game of tag in new and unexpected directions. There is no “right” answer and the possibilities and permutations at each point are nearly endless. The key is to have fun finding, sharing, and linking poems. Here is one example of a “chain” of 30 poems beginning with Heidi Mordhorst’s poem, “April Gale,” from Pumpkin Butterfly. Invite children to take the game find their own poems and make their own connections.

It begins:

1. Begin with “April Gale” by Heidi Mordhorst
From: Mordhorst, Heidi. 2009. Pumpkin Butterfly; Poems from the Other Side of Nature. Wordsong/Boyds Mills Press.

2. Then look for “Spring” by Lee Bennett Hopkins
From: Hopkins, Lee. Bennett. Comp. 2010. Sharing the Seasons. Margaret McElderry.
Connection to previous poem: The image of spring blossoms

For more details, get your copy of The Poetry Teacher’s Book of Lists.
And if you already have the book and would like to offer additions, corrections, or other input, please do so in the COMMENTS area. Thanks!

For more examples of poetry tag, see:

Vardell, Sylvia and Wong, Janet. Eds. 2011. P*TAG.
Vardell, Sylvia and Wong, Janet. Eds. 2011. PoetryTagTime.
Vardell, Sylvia and Wong, Janet. Eds. 2011. Gift Tag.

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