National Poetry Month: Color Poetry Part Two


Yesterday, I wrote about how to organize and brainstorm ideas for color poetry.  Now it is time to draft and publish!
            To actually write the color poetry is very easy. I have students look at their Renaming Crayons sheet and choose their 3-5 ideas. If I were to do this activity in second grade would most likely choose 3, and in fourth grade I would chose 5 ideas.  Then drafting is simple!  Students start the poem with the color and then each of their color names is one line.  The poem ends with the color again.  Here is an example:
Green
By Mandy Gregory
Green
Freshly cut grass
Little inchworm scooting up a leaf
Spring time bugs
Green
We talk about what would create the best look, rhythm and beat since it is poetry.  I personally like to guide students to using the longest line in the middle and building up to it and then going back to smaller phrases.  For example in the Green poem it is 1 line, 3 lines, 6 lines, 3 lines, 1 line.  The lines don’t have to have the same number like the 2nd and 4th lines- that was just chance.
Then I have students neatly recopy the poem and go over it with black pens.  Students then cut around the poem. 
To publish I then do what I call “Name Artwork.”  I have no idea if it really has a name, it is just something I made up.  Students use a big marker to write their names in large (side to side) block letters as they turn the page.  Students need a larger marker and white computer or construction paper.
For example, for my name I would start with the M going from the top to the bottom of the paper. 

Then I rotated the paper and drew the A, once again in large block letters from the top to the bottom of the page.  

I kept on rotated the page and writing the letters until the paper looked like this. Sometimes I wrote the letter off center to add more lines to the sides of the paper.  Then I connected any lines that where in the middle of the white spaces.  The final result was this:

Now it is time to break out the colors!  I once again pull out the baggies of crayons from the HUGE box of crayons.  Students then color in each box a different color from the baggie- I don’t care if mine use the exact ones from the Renaming Crayons sheet.  I just let them use a variety of colors.  I do encourage them to not let the same colors “touch.”  When students finish coloring, then the glue the poem in the center.
This is a perfect activity after a long day of testing because it is so mindless AND they look great in the hall!

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