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Wayne the Stegosaurus

Meet the stegosaurus, Wayne.
He doesn’t have the biggest brain.
He’s long and heavy, wide and tall,
but has a brain that’s extra small.

He’s not the brightest dinosaur.
He thinks that one plus one is four.
He can’t remember up from down.
He thinks the sky is chocolate brown.

He wears his bow tie on his tail
and likes to eat the daily mail.
When playing hide-and-seek he tries
to hide by covering his eyes.

He thinks that black is really white.
He’s sure the sun comes out at night.
He thinks that water grows on trees
and when it’s hot he starts to freeze.

He’s happy when he’s feeling ill.
He likes to dance by standing still.
And when it’s time to go to bed,
he puts bananas on his head.

He thinks his name is Bob, not Wayne,
but that’s what happens when your brain
(although you’re big and brave and spiny)
is very, very, very tiny.

–Kenn Nesbitt

How to Write an Alliteration Poem

Writing Alliteration Poems

A fun and easy kind of poem to write is what I call an “alliteration poem.” Alliteration is when you repeat the beginning consonant sounds of words, such as “big blue baseball bat” or “round red robin.”

Writing alliteration poems is a terrific creativity exercise. Not only is it an easy way to write a poem, it’s a great way to get your brains working. You’ll need to think of a lot of alliterative words, and then form them into rhyming sentences.

Writing an Alliteration Poem in Five Easy Steps

Step 1: To write an alliteration poem, first pick a consonant. It can be any letter of the alphabet except for the vowels a, e, i, o, or u. For example, let’s say you choose the letter “B.”

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Today Is the Day

I’m happy to say that today is the day.
I’m super excited. I’m shouting, “Hooray!”

I woke up delighted and ready to go.
My mind is abuzz and my eyes are aglow.

There’s no doubt about it. It’s perfectly clear.
The time is upon us. The moment is here.

I’m eager and keen for the action to start,
and when it begins I’ll be playing my part.

I’ll jump in the bustle and I’ll give it my all.
I’m certain that soon I’ll be having a ball.

But where should I go now, and what should I do?
I’m hoping that someone will give me a clue.

I’m not sure what’s happening. All I can say
is yesterday’s gone, so today is the day.

–Kenn Nesbitt

Announcing PoetryMinute.org

Poetry Minute

During the past few months, since becoming the Children’s Poet Laureate, I have been hard at work on a new project: A brand new website called PoetryMinute.org, and I would like to tell you about it so you can start using it in your classrooms.

Over the years that I have been reading and writing children’s poems, I have noticed that many, possibly most, poems written for children can be read in an average of about one minute. Because of this, I have always encouraged teachers to share a poem with their students every day. It only takes a minute of the entire school day, and yet it gives students a break from their routine in a way that also encourages them to want to read and write, and improves their fluency and literacy.

I call this a “Poetry Minute.” It’s one minute out of your school day for poetry. And now it’s easier than ever.

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My Invisible Dragon

I have an invisible dragon.
She’s such a remarkable flyer.
She soars through the sky on invisible wings
exhaling invisible fire.

My dragon is utterly silent.
She soundlessly swoops through the air.
Why, she could be flying beside you right now,
and you’d never know she was there.

And if you should reach out to pet her,
I don’t think you’d notice too much.
Her body is simply too airy and light
to sense her by means of a touch.

And just as you don’t see or hear her,
and just as she cannot be felt,
my dragon does not have an odor at all,
which means that she’ll never be smelt.

Although you may find this outlandish,
you just have to trust me, it’s true.
And, oh, by the way, did I mention I have
an invisible unicorn too?

–Kenn Nesbitt

Words with Wings, a novel in verse by Nikki Grimes

Words with Wings by Nikki Grimes

As Children’s Poet Laureate, one of my jobs is to select a collection of poetry each month to feature on the Poetry Foundation’s website. There you’ll find my monthly book picks, and those of the previous Children’s Poets Laureate.

My pick for September, 2013 is Words with Wings, a novel in verse by Nikki Grimes.

Interview with Children’s Poet Nikki Grimes

In addition, I interviewed Nikki about her life as a poet and about her new book. Here is what she had to say.