Quicky Poetry Ideas for Teachers: Similes – what colour is your heart?

Here’s a quickie simile poem idea.

The poem is a description of the person writing it, they should describe each part in the most surprising, and positive way they can. They must be as complimentary as possible about themselves. Each colour should be true, the description of the colour can be as vivid as they like.

Line one describes their hair colour, line two describes that colour further with a simile

Line three describes their eye colour, line four describes that colour with a simile.

Line five describes their skin colour, and line six further describes that colour with a simile.

Line 7 describes the colour of their hearts. This can be ANY colour.  Line eight will be a simile again, and can be of anything, but animals work very well.

 

The colours of me!

My hair is brown

like conkers in the sun

my eyes are brown

as autumn nuts

my skin is paler pink

than summer buds

and my heart

is dappled

like the leopard

that hides in the grasses.

 

Have fun! This poem can be done with many variations.

Posted in Poetry Art and Craft, Poetry Fun!

Writing a Moon Poem and Hanging it on a 3D Moon!

Today I’m going to guide you to write a poem about the moon – this can be written out onto paper or a disc of card and hung up, or written onto a 3D moon to hang as a mobile!

This is a circular poem – the first line is the same as the last line, and on the mobile it IS the same line. If you write it correctly, it doesn’t matter where you start in the poem, it will still make sense.

Start every line with a capital letter. Do not use rhyme.

You will be writing your poem from what is known as ‘the first person’ perspective. That just means you are writing as if you ARE the moon. You only use words like ‘I’ and ‘My’ and ‘Me’. Your first line (and last line!) is:

Because I am the moon

Your second line starts ‘I am the colour’ – try and think of interesting, unusual, or surprising things that are the same colour as the moon. My second line is:

I am the colour of cobwebs and smoke

Your third line begins ‘My mountains’. This line will be a lie. The mountains will do something that mountains cannot really do. My third line is:

My mountains tell me stories

Your fourth line begins ‘My secrets can be found’. This line is also a lie. Try and think of the most wonderful, unusual, exciting, amazing place the moon’s secrets might be found. My fourth line is:

My secrets can be found in silver coins

Your fifth line starts ‘I wish’. What ambition might the moon have? Think about what might be exciting to you if you were the moon.

I wish I was a shooting star

Your sixth line begins ‘I’m sad’ – the moon might be lonely all on its own in space. It has no air, no water, no plants or animals. Because there is no air, there is no sound, because sound waves use air to travel though. Think about being the moon, and decide what you would miss the most. This is my sixth line:

I’m sad I cannot hear Earth’s songs

Your seventh line starts ‘I dream’. What would the moon dream about? Perhaps another of those things she does not possess? Maybe there is something she would like to do, or try, or someone/something she would like to meet? My seventh line is:

I dream of being kissed with clouds

Your eighth line begins with ‘My seas of dust hide’. What extraordinary thing might the moon’s dust hide? Creatures? Jewels? Words? Magic? Tunnels to another place? My eighth line is:

My seas of dust hide night time lullabies

The last line after this is ‘Because I am the moon’ – the same as the first line. BUT unless you are writing this poem out on a piece of paper, you will not write this onto your 3D shape – because it shares a place with the first line. You will see what I mean when you make your shape!

Here is my poem written out:

Because I am the moon

I am the colour of cobwebs and smoke

My mountains tell me stories

My secrets can be found in silver coins

I wish I was a shooting star

I’m sad I cannot hear your songs

I dream of being kissed with clouds

My seas of dust hide night time lullabies

Because I am the moon

 

Here is how to write your poem onto a moon!

First you need four pieces of A4 paper. Fold them all in half. Then, either use a pair of compasses to draw a circle or find a saucer or something round that is just smaller than the width of the folded paper to draw round.

Then cut the circle through the 4 layers. Or, if you are unsure of doing it this way, draw your circle onto each folded piece of paper and cut each folded piece out separately. You will end up with 8 paper circles. Fold them in half and open them up again.

Write one line of your poem on each of the circles. Remember, you only need one ‘Because I am the moon’.

If you want to illustrate your poem or colour in the circles, it is best done now – it becomes harder later! Then stack the circles with your poem in order, first line at the top-  ‘Because I am the moon’.

Then take the top circle and fold it in half, so the right side folds onto the left side.

Glue this half.

Take the second circle with the second line of your poem on and stick the left hand side of this circle onto the other glued half circle. Make sure the fold matches the fold in the other circle. Be as accurate as you can.

Then fold this second circle in half and glue the side facing you.

And add the next circle on top – again, making sure the folds are all lined up.

Do this with all of the circles, until you have none left. Then turn the circles over so you have half of the first circle on your right and half the last circle on your left.

Take a long piece of hanging string, embroidery thread or wool and stick it in the crack in the middle of the half circles. Use sticky tape to keep it in place.

Then glue the left-hand circle side and stick it to the right-hand half circle. The shape is now 3D and will open up into your 3D moon poem.

Can you see that now the first and last line of your poem is ‘Because I am the Moon’? In fact, because of the way it is written, any line can be the first line, so it doesn’t matter if the moon is not facing the right way when you begin to read it. It still makes sense. You are ready to hang up your moon poem!

Quickie Poetry Ideas for Teachers

Wanting a quick idea to practise using nouns, verbs, and adjectives?

the grass

glitters

its forest

Carol Bevitt, Susan Eames, Helen Laycock

I call these tribbles. Ask your class to write a noun, a nature word, on the top of a piece of paper.

Ask them to pass that paper to the child behind them, or at a suitable distance.

The new child then adds an action on the next line.  You can, if you wish, have a pool of verbs for them to draw from on the whiteboard, so obvious verbs are not chosen. This can also be achieved if the first child folds their paper so the noun is not visible.

Then the paper is passed on again to another child who writes the conclusion, based on the first two words. Ask them to use a noun or an adjective and a noun in the last line, and to keep it as short as possible.

Show them these examples to give them the idea:

 

The Volcano

belched

behind a hand of smoke

 

Susan Eames, Helen Laycock, Liz Brownlee

 

Tadpoles

wriggle

into frogs

 

Sherri Turner, Carol Bevitt, Helen Laycock

 

A bee

fuzzbuzzes its way

up the lupins

 

Liz Brownlee, Sherri Turner, Liz Brownlee

 

Then get them to pass the poems on again to be read out. These little poems give a great feeling of achievement, don’t take long and usually yield excellent results – hope you enjoy them! They can be displayed in many ways and if you choose connected initial nouns can be put together to make into longer poems.

Posted in Empathy Day

#Empathy Poem – A Child Speaks

Aged 9, Severn Suzuki founded the Children’s Environmental Organisation. In 1992, long before Greta Thunberg, aged 12, she and three friends raised the money to travel from Canada to speak at the Rio de Janeiro Earth Summit, to fight for their future and give a young person’s perspective on environmental issues. In 1993, she was honoured in the United Nation’s Environment Programme’s Global 500 Roll of Honour. Sill fighting for the environment, she is now also a speaker, television host and author.

 

A Child Speaks

 

Butterflies

are disappearing

like my breath on a windowpane

 

you would think

this clear view

would help them see

 

but no

 

maybe the last, gentle orangutan?

 

no

 

perhaps the ocean

lapping with plastic bottles?

 

no

 

possibly the last bee?

 

no

 

we save the rights

of those with a voice

 

but we are the undefended

 

the last tiger walking

 

and all the adults do is talk

 

about talking

 

© Liz Brownlee

 

Posted in Empathy Day

Snow – #EmpathyPoem

I’m posting lots of empathy poems today! Here is one about snow, and small gifts. This poem is in Be the Change, Poems to Help You Save the World, written with Matt Goodfellow and Roger Stevens, Macmillan.

 

Snow

 

Swirling slowly

in lilting flight,

as cold as stars,

the soundless white

 

of drifting feathers

spreading wings,

to sing the songs

that snowflakes sing,

 

of how small gifts

of peace and light

can change the world

in just one night.

 

© Liz Brownlee

 

Image by Bert Reimer on Flikr by creative commons license.

Posted in Poetry Craft, Poetry Fun!

A Poem on a Kite – Craft and Poetry

Robert Couse-Baker, Flikr creative commons

Today I am going to show you how to write a poem about a kite, and then write your poem on a kite to hang from your ceiling or window!

This is a kite poem I have written in the past:

 

The Kite

 

I am the emperor of wind

my world is sky and sun

 

air surrounds me, guides me

moves me so we are one

 

my red skin glows like fire

I am kite; part silk, part light

 

my tail patterns in circles

in loops and swoops of flight

 

watch me become the wind

and the wind take shape in me

 

it is my soul, my life, my all

it sets my spirit free

 

© Liz Brownlee

In your poem, YOU are the kite. You will be thinking about what it would be like to be a kite flying in the sky, being moved by the wind.

Your first line will be I am a kite – in your second line, you will say where or how you fly. You will use a word for sound in this description. Think of the sounds a kite will hear up in the sky. It could be the sound of insects (what noise do they make?), or the wind, or aeroplanes, whatever sound you think the sun makes (make one up!), or the sound of the people down below, watching.

Your sound words could use onomatopoeia. This word is said: ono-matter-pee-a. No, I can’t spell it either, I had to look it up! These are words that SOUND like what they are describing: ‘The kite swished‘, ‘the wind buffeted the kite’. The words in bold describe the sound, and sound like the sound.

I have imagined what sound the air is making and put that:

I am a kite

I fly through the singing air

Your third line will describe what you (the kite) look like. You will use a metaphor – a metaphor describes something AS something else.  ‘The kite is a spiral of colours.’

I am a diamond

Your fourth line will describe what you are doing, using a verb (a doing word).

shining under

Your fifth line will describe the sky. I thought about what was in the sky as well as the kite – you could think about the colours in the sky, or the wind, or a smell, or clouds, but I remembered that even when it is daytime, the stars are still up there in the sky.

a sky of invisible stars

Your sixth and seventh lines will describe the wind with a simile (when you say something is ‘like’ something else) or a metaphor (when you say something ‘is’ something else). Think what the wind is like for the kite – some words which might help you are: friend, helper, song, home, life, fun, dancing partner, hero, path, direction, pattern.

The wind is like

a mother to me

Your eighth and ninth lines will describe how the wind helps the kite.

helping me to fly

and guiding me back home.

Yay! You’ve finished your poem. Read it out – can you hear anywhere where you could improve it, perhaps by taking out a word, putting one in, or changing a word for a better word? Does your poem make sense? Can you change it a little so it flows well?

This is mine, written out:

 

I am a kite

I fly through the singing air

I am a diamond

shining under

a sky of invisible stars

the wind is like

a mother to me

helping me to fly

and guiding me home.

 

You can write your poem neatly onto a piece of card or paper and hang it on the wall, you could draw a kite to go with it, or you can display it as a kite. Below are the instructions to do that.

First, you need to make your poem into a diamond shape. This is why you have an odd number of lines, one line has to be the middle. First of all you need to write your poem as I have below – so that the lines get steadily longer until the middle line, (probably line 5, which will be the longest line) and then shorter again. You will have to play with the words, adding some words from the lines above or below to get the shape correct. If it won’t work, then add words, or take some away. When you have finished, read your poem out to check you have not added a word in a line and still have it in the line above, for example – this is easy to do!

I am

a kite,

I fly through

the singing air. I am

a diamond, shining under

a sky of invisible stars. The wind

is like a mother to me,

helping me to fly

and guiding

me back

home.

 

Notice that in line 5, where I have added two words from the line below, I have shown where the line finishes by a full stop, to also show where the next line begins. You could also put in a comma.

When you have your shape right, all you have to do is draw a diamond on an A5 sheet of paper or card. You could do it on A4 if your have a lot of words and are worried about fitting them in!

How to draw a diamond shape! Measure and mark half way along the top and bottom of your paper, and half way down each side.

Join the marks with a ruler and pencil!

Then cut the kite out and place it on another piece of plain paper. Use the kite as a template to draw around.

Draw a line across the middle of your rough paper kite and then, again roughly, divide each half with 5 lines. You may need an adult to help with this. Then write your poem in on your rough piece of paper. Work out how to write the lines to fit your kite properly. It might take a while to do this! You may need to change where some of the words go. Don’t worry, you can’t get it wrong, as long as all your poem is on your kite!

Then put your kite next to the rough copy and copy your poem across. Notice I have tried out two pens to see which one would be the right thickness to write my poem in. I wrote the poem on the good kite in pencil again to guide my pen words. Then I rubbed out the pencil when it was dry.

Then it is time to add a tail to the kite. I had an old pipe-cleaner which I twisted into a spiral, but you can use lengths of ribbon, coloured string, wool, anything that looks like a kite tail and which you can attach to your kite! I attached the pipe-cleaner with sticky tape and then a staple.

Then a made a tiny bow from parcel ribbon to put on top of the staple – you could use wool or string or even cut out a bow out of magazine paper or coloured paper to stick there – but make sure it will not hide any of your words.

Thread a thick needle with some string, wool, embroidery thread or ribbon, knot the end and push it through near the edge (not too near the edge!) of your kite, a little way down the top side of the kite, either on the right or left. I put my hole between the third and fourth lines. This means your kite will hang at a jaunty angle.

And then you can hang it up!

Hope you enjoy yourself!

I am so pleased to say that red bubble at Farfield School, @SchoolFarfield have written some wonderful poems by following this idea! Look here they are, flying high!

Posted in Poetry Art and Craft

Words Grow on Trees – Art and Poetry Idea from Sue Hardy-Dawson

Yay! I’m very happy to have a guest art and poetry blog post here from the lovely Sue Hardy-Dawson!

Words Grow on Trees

Why not write and decorate your own word tree? Here’s how:

First of all you might start with a list of tree related words – I sometimes write my list as a mind map.

I have put a few ideas in mine, I bet you can think of lots more things the parts of the tree look, feel, sound and smell like.

I started mine with, ‘Words grow on trees’, because we’re making a word tree. Also when I was small and used to ask for more of my share of something grownups often used to say ‘Do you think they grow on trees?’ which if it was new shoes or a biscuit I thought was funny.

The first verse is about the roots. You will have different ideas so your roots will be made of different things.

 

Words grow on trees

from knotted roots

like coiled ropes

round ancient bones.

 

The next verse is about the trunk, I thought about the texture, things it reminded me of.

 

My tree has a fat trunk

bark, leathery and cracked

as elephant skin.

 

The next verse is about the branches, I thought about them being held up to the sky like arms, you will have your own ideas.

 

Long, strong branches

that can hold the moon.

 

The last verse is about the leaves. Mine are spring leaves, soft, green and new but yours might be autumn leaves and different colours or thick dark shady ones. I wanted my poem to end with words as it was a word tree and I thought about trees whispering words. Again it’s your poem so there are no wrong ideas.

 

Spring brings new buds

of soft green leaves

everyone of them soon

whispering different words.

 

Once you have written your poem, you are ready to make your word tree. Here’s my finished poem and this is what you do next.

 

Words Grow on Trees

 

Words grow on trees

from knotted roots

like coiled ropes

round ancient bones.

 

My tree has a fat trunk,

bark, leathery and cracked

as elephant skin.

 

Long, strong branches

that can hold the moon.

 

Spring brings new buds

of soft green leaves.

Everyone of them soon

whispering different words.

 

So here’s how to write out your poem, in the shape of a tree, starting with the roots at the bottom, so you read it up instead of down. It’s probably easier to show you so here is a picture:

Now the really good thing about trees is that you can’t really go wrong, so if as I did you have a word that sticks out it just looks like a twig. Basically, as long as it’s sort of thin in the middle, is wider at the root and has some branches it’s going to look like a tree.

Once you have written your poem in a tree shape, you are ready to put the leaves on. You could just draw them of course but I did mine with finger prints in paint. It works best with two or more colours and I would suggest you have another spare sheet of paper nearby to dab your finger on first so it’s not too thick and drippy.

Here’s how I built mine up:

So here’s my tree and I think it looks quite nice like that and of course you might just want to leave it there.

However I thought it might be even nicer to cut it out and stick it onto a different colour background and add some grass and other bits. So that’s what I did with mine and here it is:

© Sue Hardy-Dawson

Thank you so much Sue for that fabulous idea! 

Posted in Poetry Book Parade, Poetry Review

This Rock, That Rock by Dom Conlon

This Rock, That Rock, Poems Between You, Me and the Moon, by Dom Conlon, with illustrations by Viviane Schwarz, Troika Books.

This collection is full of shadows and light, stillness and life; by turns tender, soulful, imaginative, powerful and contemplative. Subjects address growth, coming to terms with being yourself, life, death, the universe and all within. Many children’s books can be enjoyed by all ages – but this is a book eminently suitable for sharing.

The title poem, This Rock, That Rock, about the Earth and the Moon, ends with the words:

This rock is overflowing with life

That rock is what makes life on the this rock possible

Dom’s poetry, it is a boost into a space in which you may find something which make life possible.

Here is my favourite (although Quietly Remarkable almost won!):

 

The Last Man on The Moon

 

Watch carefully, steal a glance

just before the door closes,

as your mum or dad

takes one last look

at your shadow-wrapped face,

and know that through you

they have walked upon the Moon

to memorise every feature

as though this is their last visit –

and it is

 

for tomorrow you will be older

and you might not let them land

a kiss upon your lips

or hold the glow of your spirit

in their hands. You might not

be as easy to reach

or even see because

 

yes, there will be days

when you go dark

but even then, you should know

that they will still be there

looking up for the thin crescent

of light to appear in their sky

like the opening of a bedroom door.

 

© Dom Conlon

Obviously recommended. 5 BIG stars.

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!

 

 

Posted in Poetry Craft, Poetry Fun!

Tribble Poems on Pop-Up Cards

The Volcano

belched

behind a hand of smoke

 

Susan Eames, Helen Laycock, Liz Brownlee

 

A while ago I invented a type of poem which I called a ‘tribble’ (which might give you a clue to another of my loves!). I have played it with friends on a writing forum. One person comes up with a noun, (a naming word), the next a verb ( a doing word) and the last person finishes the poem off with a short phrase, that should contain an adverb or adjective (describing words), but could contain just another noun.

It’s an interactive way of writing a poem, and can be great fun, as others people’s ideas spark your imagination.

You could write one with your family, or you could write one with one other person who will choose the verb in the second line. Or you could write one entirely on your own. In that case, you need to write out lots of verbs (skipping, rolling, patting, singing etc), cut them out, and fold them in half, and choose one at random after you have chosen your noun.

I am setting you the task of choosing a nature noun. This is mine:

That tree

Ask someone else to look at your noun and add a verb ( a doing word). When I played this with Susan, she added ‘commands’.

That tree

commands

Then you add the last line. Keep it to as few words as possible.

That tree

commands

the birds to sing.

There! You have a tribble poem.

So – what to do with your tribble? A tribble is very short so it is easy to write inside a card. Why not make a pop-up card to display or to give to someone else? Choose the tribble you like best.

Start off with a piece of A4 paper, sturdy paper or card if possible.

Fold it in half. The card will have its long side fold at the top. This is what it looks like opened up:

Write your poem out neatly on a scrap of paper. See how large it is and how much space it will take up on your card. Make sure it only takes up half the space, less if possible. You will write your poem, not where you would normally write you signature, on the bottom, but on the TOP half of the card, on the left.

I wrote it in the card in pencil first, and decided to make the last line into two lines to take up less space.

Next, close your card and along the fold cut two parallel lines – about half way along the space left over from where you have written your poem. My lines were 3 and a half cm deep.

When you open up the card again, push through where you have cut from the outside – this is what it will look like:

Now you have to decide what you want to pop up when you open up your card. I decided on a tree, of course!  The tree or whatever you draw has to be small enough to stay inside the card when it is shut, but big enough to pop up and look good when it is open. Shut the card to measure how big your pop up with be. It has to be smaller than the distance between the bottom of the hole and the edge of the card.

The easiest way to make sure it will fit this space is to cut a piece of paper that big and draw what you want to pop up on it – making it as big as possible.

I did mine by cutting out two pieces of coloured card and making my tree fit the space.

I stuck the tree together. Then I drew a bird onto the back of a coloured piece of origami paper so it was lovely and bright when I cut it out and turned it over. Then I stuck it to the tree.

Then I stuck the tree to the pop up piece in the card, and added some details to the background – I also rubbed out my pencil lines.

When I open and shut the card it works beautifully. But on the outside of the card is a hole where the pop-up is.

This does not matter if you are just going to display it – but if you want to give it to someone you will need to fold another piece of paper to make a cover for your card.

You will probably want to draw on the cover, if it is to be a card! Do this first in case you make a mistake. Then you can stick it to the card or you could staple it.

You could also use the Tribble poem-writing idea to write poem to go in a tiny Poetry Book. Making a poetry book is easier than this!

Hope you enjoy doing this! I certainly did!

 

Posted in Poetry Fun!

Making a Tiny Poetry Book

The British Library has issued a challenge to young people to make a tiny book to read to their toys; their instructions are here.

I’ve often made tiny books, sometimes in a workshop after young people have written their own poems, and they are great fun to make!

Here is an easy way to make your own book – all you need is a piece of A4 paper, some scissors or a craft knife, and someone old enough to use the craft knife! If you wish to make a harder cover, you will also need some card, and elastic bands or a stapler.

Start off with your piece of A4 paper – I suggest making two of these folding books, I’ll explain why later!

Fold the paper in half along the long side; every one of these folds you make must be accurate – make sure the corners meet the corners exactly, and press the crease with your thumb to make sure it is nice and crisp:

Then open the paper up and fold it the other way:

Unfold the paper again and fold both short sides in to meet the middle crease:

When you open up the paper after it should look like this:

Each little square is a page of your book. (YOU DO NOT HAVE TO WRITE IN YOUR BOOK NOW, but if you want to do it at this stage, and you are not making a card cover for your book, this next image shows which direction each page will face. The numbers show where the page each square will be in the finished book. So the square at the top left will end up on the outside at the front and will be the cover. The next square though will end up as the back!)

Next comes the cutting bit!

Next stand your paper up like this:

And open up the slit and press the sides into a book shape:

 

This is your little book. If you are not making a cover, now you can start writing in your poem or story book.

Write the poem/poems first! Remember, whatever you write cannot be very long. You might want to write a line or two on every page. Each two pages when opened up is called a ‘spread’. You could write a poem on one half and illustrate it on the other half.

When you have written your book, you can design your front cover, and write a ‘blurb’ for it on the back. The ‘blurb’ is what publishers call the description of what is inside the book. Make it sound as exciting as you can!

Can you remember I suggested making two little paper books? That is because you can plan on one book, and do a neat copy when you have got it right!

If you are making a book with a cover, this is the plan for the inside of the book:

As you can see, you can write on every page, and you have two more pages.

Now you must make your cover. The cover will need to be made of card, and must be a little bigger all round than your book.

Cut it out and fold it in half:

Don’t put the cover on until you have written in your book. And also when you have decorated or drawn your cover and ‘blurb’ on the back! If you make a mistake you don’t want to have to take it apart.

When your book is finished, lie your book on the opened cover, with the book opened to the middle – you can fix it together using a rubber band if the card is very strong, or staples along the crease if not – staple it from the outside in:

You have written your first book! Congratulations!

Here is my little book of poems that I made yesterday – I have used some wonderful illustrations drawn by the great illustrator Gordy Wright  to go with my poems – maybe you know someone who can draw really well who might like to decorate your book, if you don’t want to?

As you can see, I didn’t get the circle of printing quite right when I did the inside line of the poem.

Pygmy shrew and ladybird!

Pufferfish and fairy fly:

Leveret and hedgehog:

And last poem, narwhal.

Here is my blurb!

Hope you like it! Do send your book to the British Library, they want to see them!

Here is my book when it was just one piece of paper – I printed it out on a printer which was a bit fiddly – you could also draw your book on your computer, print it and cut the drawings out to stick them in your book, if that is easier!

Posted in Funny Poem a Day

Purrfect, by Liz Brownlee

Today we have a shape poem, and an animation – thank you to animator Nick Hales who animated the kitten so beautifully!

If you fancy writing a poem yourself, why not enter my Covid19 poetry competition? Details link in the side bar, or a couple of posts down from here!

Joke:

What looks like half a cat?

¡ɟlɐɥ ɹǝɥʇo ǝɥʇ