Write an "I Used To, Now I" Poem

What You Need:

  • Pencil
  • Several sheets of lined paper
  • Crayons
  • Photo albums or home videos of your child when they were younger (optional)
  • Computer to publish final copy, or spiral notebook for poetry journal (optional)

What You Do:

  1. Start by taking a walk down memory lane. Find and look at old home videos and photo albums to remind your child of who they used to be and what they used to do.
  2. As you look through this memorabilia, have your child make a list of things they did when they were a baby, toddler, preschooler, or kindergartener that they do differently now. Things on this list might include: crawling, drinking from a bottle, sleeping in a crib, etc.
  3. Using this list, let them choose six to eight behaviors that they used to do differently than they do now. These behaviors will be used to write the "I used to" portion of the stanzas.
  4. Write the poem. Each stanza of the poem will consist of two lines. The first line will begin "I used to _", and they can complete it with something they used to do. The second line will begin "Now I _", and they can finish that line with what they do now. For example: "I used to drink from a bottle/Now I drink from a cup."
  5. Help them correct any errors on the rough copy then have them begin a final copy. They can recopy their poem into a poetry journal, or even type their poem into a word processing program. In either case, have them center the poem in the middle of the page so that they can draw illustrations in the border.
  6. After printing or finishing the final copy, let them illustrate his poem by drawing pictures of the things they wrote.

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