Poetry writing was one of my kids’ favorite “classes” at homeschool co-op. They learned to enjoy writing poetry through the simple, goofy activities we shared in the group setting.
Homeschool Co-Op: Poetry
In years of teaching poetry to our local teens, I often found that they are intimidated by the subject. They (especially the males) often reported that they are:
- Not creative, so can’t learn, read or write poetry
- Not smart enough to figure it out
- Have little experience in the past with reading or writing poetry
These are misconceptions! I always remind teens that God is a poet (the entire book of Psalms in the Bible is poetry). If God likes poetry and our teens are created in His image, then they can learn to enjoy poetry. (I also remind them that they don’t need to become great poets, just have fun with it.)
With that in mind, make the most of the very first co-op poetry class of the year.
For that first class, hare 3 of our favorite ideas for learning poetry at our homeschool co-op class:
1. Using a friendly curriculum
I introduce the poetry concepts of the week (for instance, in poetry, we might talk about poetic sound language such as alliteration or rhyme. Then I read out loud some samples of famous poems being read by famous people.
Here are some good examples of rhyme and/or alliteration on Youtube.com:
2. Then I break our homeschool co-op class into teams, assign a noun, and see how many of each examples of the poetic sound language (carrying on a theme of alliteration or rhyme) that they can come up with to go along with our noun.
We use a timer and give them 60 seconds. (A good way to do this is have the kids look up the Noun Generator at randomlists.com and choose a noun from a generated list.)
For instance, they might generate the word “wealth”.
- Then the team might come up with these rhymes:
- stealth (not too many rhymes for that word…)
Next they might find these words that alliterate with wealth (and have something to do with wealth):
- wishing (for)
- wallowing (in)
3. Lastly, let the teens take 3 minutes and come up with a couplet created from their noun, a few rhymes, and some of their alliterations and create a couplet (2-line poem).
Have them share it with the group
I’m wishing that I had more wealth
But it might not be wonderful for my health…
(Note: While this lesson may seem simple, we have found that often our students have had little experience with poetry before high school. They often need a solid introduction or refresher exercise or course.)
BONUS: If you have a few minutes at the beginning of each poetry class, get your homeschool high schoolers’ creativity loosened up with some silly puns.
Our homeschool co-op class have laughed a good bit by the time they finished the above poetry exercises- and are more confident for writing some on their own for homework in their curriculum.
Check out lots of poetry videos on my Pinterest Poetry board to inspire your teens- good way to start a class.
Breaking writing down into tiny, non-intimidating pieces is helpful for many young writers. Here’s the first of Sabrina’s 5-part video series on Teaching Writing: