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Activities adaptable to multiple grade levels

List poem

A list poem is an itemization of things or events, can be any length, and can rhyme or not. To create a list poem inspired by art, first select a theme. Themes could include colors, shapes, feelings (loneliness, happiness, excitement), ideas (flying, beauty, family, adventure), seasons, memories, or anything else. Working in pairs or as a group, select a work or several works of art that relate to the theme. Looking at the work(s), brainstorm words (nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs) or short phrases that are inspired by what you see and relate to your theme. Remember to emphasize details. Using this list, arrange the words and phrases into a list poem.

Example of a list poem>>

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Word pile poem

Select a work of art and look at it carefully for several minutes. On five separate index cards, write a word or short phrase (no more than three words per card) that describe your thoughts and observations about the work of art. Working individually or in small groups, arrange the cards into poems of any length. Create each line with either a single card or several cards together.

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Ode

Odes typically celebrate a person or thing. They can follow a particular pattern or can be irregular. Select a person or thing from a work of art and write an ode to him/her/it. Describe what makes the subject of your poem unique, special, and worthy of admiration.

Example of an ode>>

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Haiku

Haiku poets traditionally write about everyday experiences, especially those related to nature. A haiku is usually written in three short lines, with the first and last a bit shorter than the middle line. It should have no more than seventeen syllables (typically arranged into 5/7/5 in lines 1, 2, and 3, but can vary). Select a work of art that depicts a place and brainstorm words and phrases that describe what you might see, smell, taste, or touch if you could be there. Use these words to create a haiku.

Example of a haiku poem>>

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Metaphor poem

Select a work of art and identify a detail that catches your eye. Brainstorm what it reminds you of, such as something that has a similar shape, color, or texture. Use these ideas to create a metaphor describing the detail (for example, "Her peach fuzz cheek"). Repeat the exercise with other details in the work such as people, animals, objects, colors, lines, textures, or shapes. Select your favorite metaphors to create a poem.

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