Write an Epic Poem
Epic poems were a popular form of literature in the ancient world. This type of story, in which the main character goes on a long journey and endures many tests and trials, is still used today. The Lord of the Rings trilogy, Star Wars, and Harry Potter are all epic journeys—and kids and adults of all ages are familiar with them.
This activity will help your child write their very own epic poem. Don't let them be scared off by the idea that most epics were in the form of poetry—their composition need not rhyme! As long as they focus on creating an engaging an adventurous story, the epic poem is sure to be a winner!
What You Need:
- Paper and pencil
- Computer and printer
- Colored pencils or markers
What You Do:
- Ask your child to choose an epic hero. They can either choose themselves, a family member, or a god or goddess from ancient history.
- The epic hero must be charged with a task, such as guarding something, learning, or searching for something as they endure their epic journey. There should be some purpose to their adventure.
- Decide who your hero’s helpers will be. They are usually mythical creatures, with special powers, but the decision is up to your child. They should use their imagination to come up with a unique plot and characters.
- Ask them to outline their epic poem according to the three phases: exile, journey, and return home. Brainstorm ideas about why your epic hero needs to leave home, what they're going to encounter along the journey, and how they will successfully complete the quest.
- Now it's time for your learner to begin writing their epic! The structure, length, and style are entirely up to them.
- When they're all done, invite them to decorate the borders of the epic poem with drawings of the characters or setting.
Tips for Parents: Writing an epic story or poem can be especially helpful for kids who might be experiencing a hard time or facing a move to a new city or state. You can encourage your child to make the poem an allegory for adolescence or middle school. Children experiencing challenges may find hope or an optimistic outlook in creating a positive resolution to the epic hero’s story.