Poetry Activities

Build A Poetry Inspiration Jar

Tynea Lewis By more by Tynea Lewis


Poem ideas can be found anywhere. You just have to be open to their possibility and capture the ideas as they come.

Even though you might not have a chance to write the entire poem when the idea strikes, it’s important to write down a word or phrase so you can expand on it later.

Sometimes the best ideas hit when you're falling asleep at night. Keep a notebook by your bed to scribble down thoughts you have. Maybe your best ideas strike when you're in the car or doing laundry. If you keep a notebook and pen in the places you frequent throughout the day, you’ll be able to capture ideas as they come. (Don’t forget about your phone; it’s also the perfect place to record thoughts that float around.)

If you’re looking for a way to decide which idea(s) to use, write down each idea on a separate piece of paper. You might even write on napkins, old candy wrappers, or whatever you have handy when the idea strikes.

Place them in a jar and continue filling the jar with your inspiration. It might include words, phrases, or quotes. When you sit down to write a poem, pull out one of the pieces of paper and explore what is written on it.

To brainstorm, write down all the words or images that comes to mind about that specific idea. Once you have gathered enough thoughts, you’ll be ready to start your poem.

If you're looking for a fun activity to do by yourself or with a class, use a random word generator to come up with words or phrases to include in a poem. As you find your favorite words, place them on strips of paper and keep them in a jar to create your own random word generator.

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ABOUT THE POET:

Tynea Lewis is a former elementary teacher who has had a passion for writing ever since she can remember. She was recognized by the International Literacy Association in 2016 and named a 30 Under 30 honoree for her work with literacy through LitPick Student Book Reviews, an online reading and writing program. Although she always loved writing, she developed a disdain for poetry in middle school when an English teacher harshly critiqued her piece, but she fell in love with again at the end of high school when she used poetry to express emotions from tragedies and struggles she faced. Her poems have been published online and in devozine, a teen devotional magazine. She writes to express herself and be an encouragement to others. You can connect with her on Twitter and Instagram at @TyneaLewis or on her blog at tynea-lewis.com.

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