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.



Tynea Lewis is an editor for Family Friend Poems and helped to develop the National Poetry Month Resources for Family Friend Poems. She started her career as an elementary teacher and has had a passion for writing since she was in 1st grade.

For over a decade, she was the...

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