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Sunday, May 31, 2015

The "Art" of Poetry

Select an grade level appropriate poetry style and have students write a poem or riddle that explains what the work is about.

Some poem styles to choose from might be…


                Use the name in the artwork or artist to tell the reader more about it / him or her.

                Ex.  based on Georgia O’Keefe

                                Girl painting in the desert
                                Enlarged and Exaggerated
                                Opening of a flower
                                Gross bones no more
                                In full bloom
                                Abstracts of nature


Write a word or statement, or descriptor, for each letter of the alphabet, based on a work of art. 

*This could make a great art making lesson where each letter is translated into a page of an alphabet book based on the artist or artwork.

EX. based on Roy Lichtenstein’s "Mermaid"

Photo taken by Michele Comp: Storm King, 2014

                A shore it sits
                Boat out of water
                Colors glistening
                Dancing on the water
                Eager to swim away …


Looking at a work of art or a body of work describe and interpret it using the five line cinquain poem format…

Title (noun) - 1 word 
Description - 2 words 
Action - 3 words 
Feeling (phrase) - 4 words 
Title (synonym for the title) - 1 word

Ex. based on the sweet treats of Wayne Thiebaud

Sweet Delicious
Timing Tempting Tasting
Melts in your mouth


Looking at a work of art or a body of work describe and interpret it though the 5 senses describing what it looks like, feels like, sounds like, smells like, and tastes like.

Ex. Based on Rene Magrittes “The Postcard”

                The Postcard looks like a gloomy shadow cast over a dull mountain landscape
                The Postcard feels like clammy hands in my pockets
                The Postcard sounds like an eerily still day only hearing the ringing of my own ears
                The Postcard smells like sweet like apple
                The Postcard tastes like the dry inside of my mouth

Explorer Poems:

Inspired by “In 1492…” students will write their own poems using rhyming to explore a work of art.

Ex. Based on Hanri Matisse's "Harmony in Red"

In 1908 a woman did not stay up late
early to bed early to rise,  setting the table each fruit by size
Trees of white, chair in the light
Prepared in advance, so that she might be able to dance.

Photo compliments of:

Shape Poems:

Looking at a work of art describe and interpret it though  a simple shape. For example if looking at Munch’s “The Scream” one might write around the head, hands, and body describing the emotion, feeling, and meaning of the painting.

These poem forms and more, fit for elementary students can be found at Poetry for Kids:

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