Tip #12: Use a Prop [and 15 Words or Less Poems]

Welcome to today’s tip in my month-long Poetry Tips for Teachers series.

Tip #12: Use a Prop

Use a simple prop to help share a poem visually. When I share Elaine Magliaro’s “Things to Do If You Are a Pencil,” I hold up–a pencil. And I point to each part of the pencil mentioned in the poem or move the pencil as the poem directs. When I share ““Oompachupa Loompacabra,” by Calef Brown (in Hallowilloween), I crumple up candy bar or kiss wrappers and drop them among the students as I read and walk. It doesn’t have to be anything complicated.

When reading the poem draft below that is today’s 15 Words or Less poem, for example, I would bring in some birch bark if I could get some. And I’d display it, feel it, ruffle it, and crackle it, and let kids do the same after the reading.

Now, for my 15 Words or Less writers–and anybody else who would like to join in–it’s another 15 Words or Less flashback to 2007!

Wake up your poetry brains with 15 Words or Less (guidelines here)!

SORRY, PHOTO NO LONGER AVAILABLE

This is?a close-up of the gorgeous river birch in my backyard. Although I have a black thumb, this is the one thing I’ve planted that has thrived! I love it.
What does this remind you of? Fuzzy sweaters? Your grandfather’s workbench, covered in shavings? A bad sunburn? What time of year does it make you think of? What smells or sounds do you associate with it? Choose any topic and write a 15 Words or Less poem to share with us.
Remember, this is for fun! There’s no wrong answer. We’re just playing here!
And here’s my?first draft.
November

Now it’s your turn! Have fun with your own 15 WORDS OR LESS poem!??(Title doesn’t count toward word count:>)?

78 Responses

  1. Laura I love the pic today and the tittle of your poem and first five lines and epically how you brock up the word winter

    street light-trees
    hovers of ivory powdery
    wings flutter around
    moonbeam branches
    e v I n g p o e m s
    on paper-wings

    Poem By Jessica Bigi

  2. Laura I love the pic today and the tittle of your poem and first five lines and epically how you brock up the word winter

    street light-trees
    hovers of ivory powdery
    wings flutter around
    moonbeam branches
    e v I n g p o e m s
    on paper-wings

    Poem By Jessica Bigi

  3. Fairies grow from trees

    Fairies start plain
    Thick, papery wings
    Soon shed
    For hummingbird wings
    That shimmer in flight

    What a beautiful tree!

  4. Fairies grow from trees

    Fairies start plain
    Thick, papery wings
    Soon shed
    For hummingbird wings
    That shimmer in flight

    What a beautiful tree!

  5. A One-Eyed Monster

    Brand new pencil
    with which to write,
    first a new point »»>
    alas, birch blight.

    Good morning all. Laura, your “pencil prop” and birch bark prompted my verse. I’ll blame my silliness on a week of rain.

  6. A One-Eyed Monster

    Brand new pencil
    with which to write,
    first a new point »»>
    alas, birch blight.

    Good morning all. Laura, your “pencil prop” and birch bark prompted my verse. I’ll blame my silliness on a week of rain.

  7. I like how the spilt words at the end of your poem bring to mind chattering teeth, Laura.
    Here’s mine:

    bikini season -
    time to
    shave
    these legs

    1. Heeheehee! LOVE that, Ellie. Glad to know I’m not the only one thinking that. Well, not exactly bikini, but…

  8. I like how the spilt words at the end of your poem bring to mind chattering teeth, Laura.
    Here’s mine:

    bikini season -
    time to
    shave
    these legs

    1. Heeheehee! LOVE that, Ellie. Glad to know I’m not the only one thinking that. Well, not exactly bikini, but…

  9. How to Care for your Thought Tree

    Pluck an idea
    scratched upon scraps
    set it free in the wind
    And perhaps …
    perhaps …

    ~~Barbara J. Turner.

  10. How to Care for your Thought Tree

    Pluck an idea
    scratched upon scraps
    set it free in the wind
    And perhaps …
    perhaps …

    ~~Barbara J. Turner.

  11. I love how you broke up approaching! Love the pic, too. Makes me think of pastry phyllo sheets! xo

  12. I love how you broke up approaching! Love the pic, too. Makes me think of pastry phyllo sheets! xo

  13. I wish my hair
    was straight and sleek.
    It’s raining, though,
    so hair is EEEK!

  14. I wish my hair
    was straight and sleek.
    It’s raining, though,
    so hair is EEEK!

  15. Ticonderoga

    Perfect point, no words come
    Sharpen thoughts to DEROGA
    At GA, I?ll have an idea

    Pencil image reminded me of slowly sharpening my pencil at the back of the classroom and awaiting inspiration.

  16. Ticonderoga

    Perfect point, no words come
    Sharpen thoughts to DEROGA
    At GA, I?ll have an idea

    Pencil image reminded me of slowly sharpening my pencil at the back of the classroom and awaiting inspiration.

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