This activity is inspired by Peter H Reynolds’ brilliant book The Word Collector. It’s a fun, creative poetry activity all about collecting and playing around with words!
1) Be inspired
Watch this short Scholastic video* about The Word Collector by Peter H Reynolds. You can also read the story online here.
*be mindful of adverts
2) Collect some words of your own!
Inspired by Jerome, I’d like you to choose one of your favourite books and start collecting your own words. These could be any words at all. Words that you like the sound of, words that you’ve never heard of or simply words that jump out at you. Write each word on a piece of paper. You can even do this using two or three or even four different books, keep reading until you feel like you might have enough words to create a poem.
I love nature so I simply chose three of my favourite books about nature. The wonderful thing is that it doesn’t matter if they’re stories, poetry books or even non-fiction, all of them have equally wonderful words inside! Which words jump out at you? Which words will you add to your personal collection?
3) Playing with Words
Perhaps group some of them or play around with putting words together that you might never have thought about putting together before. How will you group your words? Which words could you join together? What effects does it create? Does it give you an image in your mind? Which combinations do you like the sound of?
Once you’ve started to spot some words and phrases that you like, begin to jot them down in your notebook. It doesn’t particularly matter what order they are in at this point – you can always revise and change it later!
An idea might jump out at you, like ‘An Underwater Jungle’ or you might decide to create a ‘Dreamworld’. Remember, this is a fictional poem so whatever you’re writing about doesn’t have to be ‘real’ or factually accurate (for example, you could have glow-in-the-dark seaweed or coral crowns). The key is to create wonderfully imaginative and vivid imagery in our mind’s eye!
4) Revise your poem
Once you’ve written down all of your wonderful phrases and words, you might like to revise and edit your poem. You may choose to re-order some of the lines of poetry or add a few words here and there so that it ‘flows’ better. You may also choose to repeat certain phrases for effect (these might be important and you might want to emphasise them). There are no rules… It’s completely up to you. Do what you think sounds right!
5) Publish and share your poem
Once you’re happy with your revisions, write up your poem in neat (publishing). You may also want to illustrate it with the pictures that pop into your head when you read it. Finally, perform it for someone you know or share it with the world (with parental permission of course!).
You could share your story with someone at home or virtually over Skype/Facetime/Zoom! I’m sure your family would love to hear your magnificent poetry! Please do share photos of your fabulous poems and illustrations too! You can either do this in the comments box below or post a photo on social media (you can find me on Facebook and Twitter) using the hashtag #literacywithmissp
Miss P x