Spring Break is over (sigh) and we’re back at our distance learning. It’s still National Poetry Month and we’re deep into the poem-a-day challenge in my classroom. To change things up a bit, today we played a poetry game.
At school I have some different versions of poetry dice (or writing dice). You know, those cubes with words printed on them. To create a virtual version of rolling word dice, I found a cube template online, pulled together a poetry word list, made a video of myself explaining how to make poetry dice…and then what to do with them once they had their own versions of the dice in front of them.
Using an old favorite, the poetry book I am Writing a Poem About…A Game of Poetry edited by Myra Cohn Livingston, I asked my students to roll their dice 3 times, collecting 3 words that they would craft into a poem. (I used all nouns on the dice, trusting students would be able to come up with other words to create their poems…following the book’s lead.)
In the book, the 3-word version of the game uses the words: ring, drum, blanket. I used the poem Grizzly by Madeleine Comora (from the book) as an example text. Students could use the poem as a mentor poem or not.
I rolled the words purple, basket, and waves. I was immediately drawn into my poem thinking about the song America the Beautiful…at first having purple waves of grain in my head. After a bit of revision, I realized I had written an #USvsHate poem.
In this place we know
with purple mountains majesty
and amber waves of grain
there are some
who carry baskets
that are empty
let’s fill those spaces
with love and compassion
opportunity and freedom from oppression
when the gaps close
and all can thrive
we’ll truly have
from sea to shining sea
Here are a couple of early student examples:
E was excited to roll night, mountain and egret…he said it was the best combination ever. (When I questioned the missing word mountain, he said that he thought volcano was a good substitution since mountains can be volcanos.)
No Light On Dreadnaught Island
South West from Moon Island I’m told,
A haunted island lies.
No sailor roams there freely and bold,
No egrets fly in the skies,
From the volcanoes belching their lava out,
Evil creatures of magma come,
In one big lava spout.
With all their arrogance, they even defy the very Sun.
And ruling the island, throwing everything in sight, is the great Magma Golem,
He’s rude, impatient, and very solemn.
Here it always seems to be night,
And there’s not a thing that doesn’t bite.
R rolled cactus, stoplight, and rock
down sand biomes.
The spiny cactus
as a bright
the earth to stay still.
It’s your turn. What can you do with 3 randomly rolled (or selected) words? You’re welcome to borrow ours and try your hand at a poem or two! We’d love to know what you come up with!