Monday, July 7, 2014

Welcome to My Poem~ Back to School Craftivity

Besides art, writing is another passion of mine.  For some reason, words seem to flow better on paper than from my mouth.  My mouth's gotten me in too much trouble throughout my lifetime...So the written word is a much better form of communication for me.  Kind of like me and art.  I'd much rather be drawing than painting.  I can erase a drawing, whereas painting is hard to undo or cover up.  The same goes for me and writing.  I can easily hit delete or retype something I say if I'm writing, but if it comes out of my mouth the wrong way, I'm kinda stuck with it.  Long story short, since writing and art are favs and strengths of mine, these seem to be areas I push more of in my classroom.

This craftivity, Welcome to My Poem, is an inspiration I found from a picture on Pinterest (if you know the author please let me know so I can credit her!)  This is a wonderful way for any age child to express themselves with written word and work with many different types of art mediums as well.  Here is a finished project, my son Garyn's, Welcome to My Poem.
The poem reads:

I am Garyn~
Silly and smart
Who love hot dogs and fries
But fears ketchup and mustard
Who has a dog for a best friend
But dreams of having a big brother instead
Who will slide into home plate
But won't float in the deep end
~And I welcome you to my poem.

You'll notice that the poem asks the students to think of things that are really opposites; this writing project was perfect for my Garyn to learn how to think about himself and his "opposites" which was a new concept for him at first.  But, using the following poem template, it became easier for him to visualize the opposites within himself.

 After the poem is written, the next fun part of the project begins!  To make the background for the poem, we used watercolors (basic ones found at Walmart) and crayons.  First I asked Garyn to focus on one part of his poem and he chose being fearful of swimming.  So he drew an underground scene beginning with seaweed in green crayon.  Then he painted over it with the watercolors, making the ocean.  You can use virtually anything you want for the background...crayons, markers, paints, whatever you have on hand.
Next, I took Garyn's picture.  I asked him to imagine what it would be like to be underwater in the ocean.  
I asked him to think about what it would be like to see a shark in the ocean and of course he just freaked out.  That's when I snapped the picture.

 Next change the photo to black and white.  I did this simply in Power Point.  Then I printed it and cropped it closely so just his head and hands were showing.  This would be the next step to do with your students; take all their pictures and change them to black and white.  You can crop them for your students, or let them do it.  It depends on the age of the students.  Then we found some ocean animal pictures in some magazines, cut them out, and glued them on the top of his ocean.

The final step is to type out the poem, into strips.  It is important to put one line on each strip, as that gives the poem a stronger impact and feeling.  Print the strips and cut them out.  Arrange them on the background so it looks as if the child is saying the poem.  The end result might look something like this:

 If you would like to do this project with your children or students, I've made a Welcome to My Poem Packet for you to download that contains everything you need.  There is a poem template, poem example, lesson plan with step-by-step directions, and the example you see above to show your students.  This is a wonderful project for all ages of students, from Kinder up.  The older the student, the more complex of thinking they should be doing with their writing of course.  But the end result is really awesome to look at and can be a keepsake of the student for that age.

It's been a while since I've made a font, so I felt like giving it a go this morning.  Here's a new font you're welcome to use for personal and commercial use.  Sorry for the lame title, Cara's Font.  I wasn't thinking about the title when I was making it in the wee hours this morning!  All letters, numbers and punctuation marks are included, but not shown.
Click here to download this font!

I'm linking up with Monday Made It's, where you'll find many more awesome projects by teachers.  You have to check them out!
The second link-up I want to share with you today is from The Teaching Tribune, for Monday Meet-Up.  The following is a list of questions to give you some more insight into "me".

You can read more Monday Meet-Ups from the Teaching Tribune here:
And I'm also hooking up with Manic Monday

Thanks for being with me today!  I'm so happy you visited and hope you enjoyed what I had to share with you.
Blessings to You,


  1. I bet you wore that purple cast with pride too...didn't you? Anything is better than one of the babies getting hurt. Garyn is just precious...all the time!
    Rockin' and Lovin' Learnin'

  2. Alison...YES I did! And I loved that purple cast, but hated the broken arm. Thanks so much for givin' Garyn some love Alison.

  3. Hi Cara! Thank you so much for the Welcome to My Poem packet! What a great activity for the beginning of the year to get to know our students!
    Grade 4 Buzz

    1. Thanks Lisa for the compliment! I really appreciate your kind comments and hope you come back to visit again soon! Cara;)

  4. I love your my poem project, what fun. I think kids and parents will cherish this project. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Hello Michelle! I agree...I would love to get something home from Garyn's teacher like this. And one every year would be awesome. Thanks for visiting and I hope you come again soon, Cara;)

  5. First let me say that Garyn's poem turned out AWESOME! My first writing unit this year is going to be Poetry so THANK YOU for the FREEBIE!! And the font! I hit the jackpot on your blog today!!

    1. Lori, you're too kind! Thanks so much for the kind comments and I'm glad I could provide something useful for you. You just made my day, Cara;)

  6. I love, love, love the poem packet! Thank you so much for making this as a freebie! It's beautiful!

    1. Anne, thanks so, so much for the comment love! I really do appreciate your kind comments and hope you come back to visit again soon, Cara;)


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