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TIME for Kids 2013 Poetry Contest Winners

Congratulations to the winners of the 2013 TIME for Kids Poetry Contest! I had so much fun reading all the entries and selecting the winners, plus a few “honorable mentions.”

The grand-prize winning poem this year was by 9-year-old Shannon Lipp. Her poem “Cleaning My Room” was so much fun to read that I just had to select it as the best submission of the contest.

In addition to Shannon’s wonderful poem, the runner-up winners were “Devilish Angel” by 10-year-old Austin Valencia, “What Happened at the Zoo” by 10-year-old Emily Klag, and “Eating” by 12-year-old Christy Koh.

You can read all of the winners, plus several honorable mentions on the TIME for Kids website, and in the March 29, 2013 issue of TIME for Kids Magazine.

A big congratulations to all of the winners and honorable mentions, and to all of the kids who took the time to write a poem and submit it. If I could have, I would have picked a hundred winners. There were at least that many poems that were true winners in my eyes.

Writing Riddle Rhymes

Making Riddle Poems

Exploring riddles allows you to be a detective and a spy, following clues, and writing in code.  Follow this lesson plan to take your creative thinking skills to the next level using riddle poetry!

What Is A Riddle?

A riddle is a statement or a question with a hidden meaning that forms a puzzle to be solved.  A “riddle rhyme” is a riddle that is written in the form of a poem. Riddles are often set out in short verse, and have been found across the world throughout history; in Old English poetry, Norse mythology, Ancient Greek literature, and the Old Testament of the Bible!

One of the most famous examples is the riddle of the Sphinx (a creature with the body of a lion and the head of a human being).  According to the story, if you could answer the riddle you were free to pass, but if you failed, the monster would eat you!  Can you solve it?

April Fool’s Day:  Making Musical Goo

Noisy Slime

April 1st is one of my favorite days of the year. Why? Because it’s April Fool’s Day!

April Fool’s Day is a time to get creative and play fun pranks on friends, teachers, siblings and parents.  There’s also the anticipation of the prank’s success, and the thrill of wondering if someone is going to play a prank on you. The most important thing to remember about this silly holiday is to keep a good attitude. Sportsmanship is key. Make sure your pranks are not designed to hurt anyone physically or emotionally. Also, don’t get angry if someone puts a whoopee cushion on your seat. It’s funny… so laugh along.

In the following poem, kids play all kinds of April Fool’s Day pranks on their teacher… only to discover that their shenanigans land them in a not-so-funny situation!

Happy Birthday to Robert Frost!

One of the most famous American poets, Robert Frost, was born on March 26, 1874. If he were still alive today, he would be 139 years old!

Robert Frost with Birthday Cake

Robert Frost was born in San Francisco, California, but he lived much of his life in New England starting at the age of 11. His family life was very sad because his father and his mother both died when Frost was young.

He first got interested in writing poetry when he was in high school, and he published his first professional poem in a newspaper when he was 20 years old. Frost had many different jobs after high school. At different times he was a farmer, a newspaper editor, a teacher, a factory worker, and even a cobbler (someone who repairs shoes). Frost became friends with another famous poet, Ezra Pound, during a brief period of time when they both lived in England.

How to Start an Inspiration Scrapbook

Poetry Scrapbook

Words are everywhere. They are on our toothpaste tube when we rub the sand out of our eyes and brush the scum off our teeth in the wee hours of the morning. Words are on our cereal box, our t-shirt, and the signs that mark our neighborhood streets. Words are even in our heads, as we internally tag each object around us with its corresponding name.

So if words are all over the place, why is it that we can often sit down to attempt writing- a poem or a story or an essay- and we can’t find the words? Well, it’s not that the words aren’t there. It’s just that for whatever reason… maybe we had a bad day, or we’re distracted by that upcoming test, or we’re excited about a birthday party… sometimes we aren’t feeling inspired.

How to Write a Funny Epitaph Poem

Funny Epitaph on Headstone

An epitaph is a poem that mourns someone’s death, usually intended to appear on that person’s tombstone. Although epitaphs are usually serious, it’s also possible for a rhyming epitaph to tell a funny story in a very short way. Often a funny epitaph is only four lines long.

Here’s an example of a funny epitaph poem that I wrote:

Rest in Peas

Here lies the body of Izzy Dunn-Eaton.
It’s hard to believe what he tried.
He tasted the school cafeteria food
and Izzy Dunn-Eaton done died.

This poem is funny because we know that icky cafeteria food can’t actually kill you. The story in this poem exaggerates how awful the cafeteria food tastes. Did you notice that the character’s name adds to the humor of the poem? Try reading “Izzy Dunn-Eaton” out loud to hear what it sounds like. The title makes it funnier, too, using “peas” instead of “peace.”

Sometimes a funny epitaph poem can teach a lesson about unhealthy habits. Here’s an example in which a vegetable-hating kid learns that too many sweets can be very bad for you:

World Poetry Day

World Poetry Day

March 21st is World Poetry Day, so don’t miss out on your chance to celebrate all things poetic with the rest of the planet!

In 1999, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation – or UNESCO for short – decided to establish an event that would recognize the impact poetry has had on the arts and cultural life throughout human history, and so, in 2000, the first World Poetry Day took place!

It’s a time to support poets, who often work very hard with very little recognition, but is also a time to appreciate poetry from around the world.

Make a Shamrock Lucky Charm Poem for Saint Patrick’s Day

St. Patrick's Day Poetry Activity

St. Patrick is the patron saint of Ireland, a country known for shamrocks, leprechauns and lucky charms. People celebrate St Patrick’s Day on 17th March, by wearing green clothes, and pinning a shamrock to their outfit. A shamrock is the Irish name for clover, and it’s always been considered lucky to find one with four leaves instead of the usual three!

This year, I’m going to show you how to make your own lucky shamrock charm to wear on St Patrick’s Day, or to give to someone you love!

The word ‘charm’ comes from the French ‘charme’, which means song. Here is an ancient charm poem from Ireland that explains why a four-leaved shamrock is so lucky:

One leaf is for fame,
And one leaf is for wealth,
And one is for a faithful love,
And one to bring you glorious health.

Making Comparisons with Simile and Metaphor — A Poetry Lesson Plan

This lesson plan uses descriptive examples to explain how to distinguish between simile and metaphor. Students will analyze poem excerpts to identify comparative phrases and pinpoint occurrences of similes and metaphors. Then, they will create their own similes and metaphors to explore how poets choose whether to use a simile or metaphor in a specific poem.

What’s a Simile? What’s a Metaphor?

Similes and metaphors are poetic techniques that let us compare two different things in a descriptive way. Here are some examples.

Children’s Poetry Activities

Looking for ways to have fun with poetry besides just reading it? Here are poetic activities that you can use at home or in the classroom to celebrate holidays, have parties, make crafts, and more.

Holidays

Classroom Activities and Parties

Arts and Crafts

Worksheets

Other Activities