One of my favorite “substitute teacher” activities I loved to do with older students was a word game that ties right into this poetry form. I only realized this after I had difficulty coming up with a poem, and then went back to my old sub/word play game to give me a list of words from which to work.
The word play game consisted of me writing a very long word on the (back then) chalk board. Usually “supercalifragilisticexpealidocious.” I would then set a timer and instruct students to play with the word and come up with a list of words they could make using only the letters of the word on the board. True, this is a giant word, so the possibilities were nearly endless. But that made it easier for the students. If only I had gone on to use our word lists to make up fun poems!
I discovered this fun method in a poetry book I picked up at the library. It just looked enjoyable. And it is. Check out or purchase this book and play with some words yourself.
Lemonade and Other Poems Squeezed from a Single Word
written by Bob Raczka
illustrated by Nancy Doniger
Roaring Brook Press, 2011