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Activities for Middle and High School Students

Metaphor/simile poem (see worksheet)

This four-line poem structure—taken from the book Image to Word: Art and Creative Writing (see Bibliography)—can be used with any work of art. After selecting an image and looking closely at it together, work collaboratively in small groups to create these four lines:

Line 1: Your own creative name for the work of art
Line 2: An action phrase based on what you see
Line 3: A simile that describes a character or the setting of the work of art using "like"
Line 4: Another short name for the work of art

Example of a metaphor/simile poem>>

Suggested Works

Lune poem (see worksheet)

One popular structure for a lune poem is a three-line poem with three words in line 1, five in line 2, and three in line 3. Because there are so few words in the poem, it is important to choose wisely. While looking at a work of art, brainstorm several facts about what you see and the feelings that the work inspires. Look back at your words and select three from your “facts" brainstorming for line 1. On line 3, write three words from the “feelings" brainstorming. On line 2, write five words that connect the ideas expressed on lines 1 and 3.

Example of a lune poem>>

Suggested Works

Walk poem

Take an imaginary walk through a work of art (or as someone pictured in one) and write about your journey. As described in the The Teachers & Writers Handbook of Poetic Forms (see Bibliography), walk poems typically fall into one of four types: a poem about what the poet sees on the walk; a poem about a walk that produces some kind of revelation; a poem whose length, style, and shape mirror the length, style, and shape of the walk; and a poem that reflects the way the mind works during the walk.

Suggested Works

Calligram (shaped poem)

Calligrams have words that are not arranged in horizontal lines like typical text. Instead, they take on interesting shapes and forms that relate to their content. During a discussion about a work of art, write down words and phrases that are shared. Taking from these ideas and adding some of your own, arrange the words and phrases into a form taken directly from the work of art or one inspired by it.

Alternative: After a discussion about a work of art, draw a shape that is found in the work. Fill it in with words and phrases brainstormed during the discussion.

Suggested Works

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