Adapted with permission from the Chicago City Park District’s “Once Upon a Day Camp” Guide, which was adapted from original source “Art & Poetry Projects for Kids”, by Alice George

Using a piece of butcher paper, draw an outline of your child’s body with a magic marker or crayon. Ask your child to think about what they think is happening to them on the inside. If your child doesn’t understand, give them examples like “my heart beats like the hoofs of a running horse” or “after recess, my legs feel wiggly like jello”. Now that s/he has the idea, give them 15 minutes to fill the outline with pictures of the wonderful world that’s living inside of them…or, s/he is very young, have your child tell you what s/he envisions and you can draw symbols/pictures for them. Now, read your child a list poem like the ones written by kids here:

Tell your child that a list poem is a poem with a new idea on each line. Then, ask him/her to make up a list poem about the pictures they just drew. (If your child is 4-7 years old, you can have your child tell you each idea as you write it down next to his/her picture on the paper. If your child is over 8, ask your child to write the poem.) Show your child how proud you are of their poetry skills by posting the poem and artwork in your child’s room or on your refrigerator.

Extra Credit: Listen first to the biographical introduction to each poet and then as the poets themselves read their poems in Poetry Speaks Expanded with your child and talk about what each poet must have been feeling/experiencing when each poem was written. What does your child think each poet’s personality was like? What makes your child think so? The words? The poet’s voice?

Enhances your child’s linguistic intelligence through poetry and both an intrapersonal and visual/spatial lens.

Innerspace List Poems