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Activities for Elementary School Students

Simile poem

Brainstorm adjectives to describe details in a work of art (such as the colors, action, or mood). Use these words as the beginning of a simile, adding either the word "like" or "as" after each. (For example, "Brave like _____," "Fast as _____," or "Red like _____.") Looking at the work of art, fill in your phrases. Select your favorite similes and arrange them into a simile poem.

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Poems and images together

Artists sometimes combine poetry and images in a work of art. In Celebration of the Wedding of Manohar and Madhumalati, the artist chose a well-known poem and illustrated it with images. In Reeds and Geese, a poem and painting share the theme of a wish for comfort in old age. Taking inspiration from one of these works of art, either choose a theme to illustrate with a poem that you write, or select an existing poem that you like and illustrate it. Look at the works of art to take inspiration from how these artists incorporated the words and images together.

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Limerick (see worksheet)

A limerick is a five-line poem in which lines 1, 2, and 5 contain three beats and rhyme, and lines 3 and 4 contain at least two beats and rhyme. Typically, limericks are humorous, have a first line that begins "There was . . . ," and a last line that brings a twist or punch line. (Suggestion: Clapping while reciting a line can help determine the number of beats.)

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Onomatopoeia poem

What sounds would you hear if a work of art came to life? Onomatopoeia poems celebrate sounds. Select a work of art that includes many people or things that would make noise. Brainstorm what these noises would be and how the words should be spelled (examples include "buzz," "hiss," and "ka-boom"). Discuss the visual clues that tell you about these sounds. Using these words, create poems that capture the noises of the work of art and bring it to life when you read the poems aloud.

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