Posted in Poetry Craft, Poetry Fun!

I am a Bird – Poetry with Craft!

This is a challenge to write about a living creature in the first person – as if you were that creature. I am going to be a bird – but you could also be a dolphin, a pig, a fish, a dog, or a frog. It does need to be something you can draw, because later, if you want to, you will make your poem into a mobile!

Keep your lines as short as possible.

The first line of your poem will say what you are.

I am a bird!

For your next line, think about what your choice has on the outside – mine has feathers, but yours might have scales, skin, fur or spines. Describe what these things can feel, but instead of saying ‘feel’ say ‘SEE’. My second line is:

my feathers can see the wind

In your third line, describe the way your choice moves- I have chosen fly, but it could be swim, race, jump, run, or hop, any movement your creature makes.

I fly

You are going to describe your creature moving  ‘through the dreams of’:

I fly through the dreams of

Then you need to think of whose dreams they move though –  grass, sea, waves, a stream?  My bird flies over trees. So I have decided on:

I fly through the dreams of trees

Next, choose an adjective to describe your subject. It could be a word that describes appearance or movement or emotion. I could say ‘leafy green’ or ‘swaying’ trees. But I have decided on:

I fly through the dreams of lonely trees

That is your third line finished.

This next line is your last line. You will use the noise your creature makes, and say why they make that sound – using another part of the animal. So if it is a dog, your line might be ‘I bark to make my legs run faster’ or if it is a fish, which cannot make a sound, use whisper – you might say ‘I whisper to tell my scales to shine’. My last line is:

I sing to fill my hollow bones.

So now you have a poem – this is mine:

I am a bird!

My feathers can see the wind

I fly through the dreams of lonely trees

I sing to fill my hollow bones.

Hooray! You might want to put your poem to one side for a day and see if any other ideas come to you. When you next look at it and read it out you might ‘hear’ something that doesn’t sound quite right which you can change. Read your poem to another person – that always helps.

When you are happy with your poem – this is the next step! You are going to make a poem mobile. You will need some fairly stiff A4 paper or card.

Take your paper and fold it in half.

Then fold it in half again:

Open it up and cut along the creases you have made so you have four pieces of paper – if you have large writing or think you will need more space, use two pieces of A4 cut in half.

Now you need to draw your animal four times!

Because I’m drawing a bird, I am using my card sideways on because it is a better shape for drawing a  bird. Make sure that whatever you draw, you make it as big as possible on the card. Remember, you need space to write your poem line on each animal! Here is how I drew my bird:

Next, cut your animal out:

And use it as a template by drawing round it for all the other animals:

Then cut the rest out – you should now have 4 creatures, all the same:

Now to write your poem on your animals! Write it in pencil first. One line on each creature. Decide where your writing looks best on your shape. Experiment until it looks right. Try writing with felt tip on a separate piece of paper like the one you have used, to see if the pen shows though. If it does, use a black crayon to go over your writing. If it does not show through, use felt tip. This is because you are going to write on both sides of your creature. When the felt tip is dry, rub out the pencil lines.

Then colour in your animals, both sides! Use coloured crayons if possible so the writing on your animals shows up.

Next you thread the animals together so they can hang from the ceiling or a window. Thread a thick needle with thick thread. This is embroidery thread. You could use thin ribbon or string and make holes with something else – put the holes near the edge but but be careful not to put the holes too near the edge.

I have threaded the needle and thread through the  middle top of the bottom animal. I have knotted the end of the thread.

Then I have come back through the bottom middle of the next animal up and knotted the thread when I have decided how long I want it to be – a couple of inches is enough:

Then I attached the next bird up in the same way:

When you get to the top bird thread a needle through and knot and leave the end loose for hanging where you want it to be.

Then you are read to put it up! Here is mine – because it is two sided, it doesn’t matter which way the birds turn, you can still read the poem!

I hope you enjoyed making your poem mobile! Of course, you don’t need to make the mobile, you can just write the poem – I’d love to see any poems and any mobiles you make!

 

 

Author:

Poet and owner of Lola the alert dog. Be the Change, Apes to Zebras, The Same Inside, Reaching the Stars, Animal Magic. I visit schools, libraries, literary festivals, and organise poetry events. http://www.poetryroundabout.com http://www.lizbrownleepoet.com

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