Although these ideas are intended as poetry writing exercises for primary age children on the National Poetry Day theme of ‘home’, they could also be used by all age writers as fun prompts, particularly for writing children’s poetry.

1) Group Poem:

Use some cardboard to create some cardboard bricks with one ‘home’ themed word written on each, along with some general words (see the lists below for examples). Also leave some blank so that children can add their own words if necessary. Then build the word bricks into a ‘house’ poem. Using the template, it will have 5 lines with 5 words in each line.

2) Create your own:

Now use the same ‘house’ template to create your own individual poem, with one word in each brick. Younger children may just use the house shape as a brainstorming exercise, filling each brick with one word they associate with home – these words may then be used as part of the third exercise below.

3) A ‘House’ Shape Poem:

Write your own ‘house’ shape poem. The words used in the first exercise and/or the second exercise may help with this. Some children may prefer to create a different home shape eg a tent, castle, flat…

My house has a roof

made from tile, two window

eyes and a big red open-door smile.

T                                                       w

h                                                       a

i                                                         l

c                                                        l

k                                                        s

– and a floor built for bouncing balls!

4) Give your home a garden!

Illustrate your poems by adding a garden, windows, doors etc but making sure you don’t draw over the words.

Example given word lists:   dome, foam, home

door, floor                   tiles, smiles                 hill, mill

hall, small/falls, walls             bone, cone, groan, moan, phone, stone, throne

good, wood, stood                   bricks, licks, sticks, thicks

bed, fed, head, read, red, said, ted               bat, cat, flat, hat, mat, rat, sat

I, he, she, you, am, is, are, made, built, from, in, on, a, the, my, your, our, their

(NB These words have been placed alphabetically with in rhyme groupings to help children identify this aspect of word sound. They could be arranged differently into groups to create games/help identify alliteration or alphabetical order. They cover a wide vocabulary choice and the choice of words can be restricted to help younger children.)