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Two word poems

This is a great strategy for use across the school ages- from beginning students to secondary level.

Outcomes

  • the strategy uses known experiences of the child

  • is an introduction to how a poem is different to prose

  • uses two words only and these are the strong words of writing- nouns and verbs

  • maintains a rhythm without rhyme through the use of two words

Example:

The Fair

Save money

excitement bubbling

look look

fairy floss

toffee apples

lucky dip

hot chips

face painting

prizes prizes

giggle laugh

tumble run

balloons bursting

food gone

tables folded

fair’s over

next year

come soon. © Lorraine Marwood

 

Method:

  • make a bank of words to do with a known topic like school fair, sports day, first day of school, weekend, hobby…

  • then explain that every line only has two words and each group of two words has a whole line to itself.

  • suggest the children look over the word list they have made and pick an exciting start to the poem- maybe a feeling to do with the topic- see my example of ‘excitement bubbling’

  • then set a line quota like 8 lines- after all this is only 16 words

  • remind the children that each line is only two words- so unnecessary words like prepositions will be left out.

  • allow the children to read aloud their completed poem. Hear the rhythm, see the colour, hear the action.

  • older classes can use the two word technique to write on Anzac day, Australia day or a love poem.

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