A concrete poem is a poem that takes the shape of its subject. For example, a concrete poem about an apple, describes the apple in a poetic way, and the words are written on the paper, in the shape of an apple.
Concrete poems are a fun form of writing that first graders really enjoy because they combine the fun and creativity of both writing and illustrating in one activity. Your youngster will enjoy this activity even more, when she writes a concrete poem and gives it as a gift. This Mother’s Day, help your child to write a concrete poem about one of Mom’s favorite things - it can be anything from her favorite sweater or her cup of morning coffee. When your child gives it to Mom, Mom will surely add it to her list of favorite things!
What You Do:
- Have your child think of one of Mom’s favorite things.
- Next, assist your child in using a pencil to lightly draw a simple sketch of the selected favorite thing. Make sure the sketch is simple enough that words can be written along the shape easily. Your child should only draw an outline, if possible.
- Now, talk to her about words that describe Mom as well as Mom's favorite thing. This is the perfect time to introduce a few new words and stretch your first grader's vocabulary. Is Mom easy-going? A cinephile? A fashionista? A gourmet? Does she have a green thumb? Using the pencil outline as a guide, have your child use colored pencils to write words that describe Mom and her favorite thing in the shape of the sketch. Turn the paper as she writes so that your child is always writing from left to right along the outline of the shape, and help her in choosing colors that will bring the picture to life.
- Continue writing words until the poem is complete and the outline is full. Cut out the concrete poem. Fold a piece of construction paper in half to form a card, and glue the poem to the inside.
- Have your child use markers to decorate the card however she thinks Mom would like it best.
Did You Know?
From the earliest years of school, children learn about holidays in their community and how to participate in a variety of ways. And in Kindergarten and first grade they will be learning to read and write. With this activity, you bring it all together—and also let Mom know how much she is loved in the process.
Liana Mahoney is a National Board Certified elementary teacher, currently teaching a first and second grade loop. She is also a certified Reading Specialist, with teaching experience as a former high school English teacher, and early grades Remedial Reading Instructor.