Learning in the Making: Visual Poetry

Looking for something fun to make at home? Each week we are collecting and curating resources around a topic and this week is visual poetry. We will be using our imaginations and creativity to create different shapes with words! Here’s some inspiration to get you started.

Poetry is all around us – in books and magazines and in the lyrics to your favorite hip hop song. Whether written on paper or spoken out loud, poetry taps into the power of words to express feelings, communicate ideas, and tell stories. A visual poem (sometimes known as a concrete poem) is a written poem that creates a visual image that relates to its meaning. A visual poem may use spaces between words and letters, breaks between lines, and even alternative spellings of words to produce a visual effect. Get started with this introduction by Playful Learning.

Follow along with the video below as we create visual poems and explore the sounds and meanings of words:

To make your own visual poetry, you will need: 

  • Paper: any kind or color 
  • Writing implement(s): pens, pencils, markers – try an assortment of kinds and colors! 
  • Optional: scissors for cutting, tape or glue for pasting or connecting, water color paints for additional color and texture 
  • Your imagination! 
Project Guide in English
Guía de proyecto en Español

Looking for additional inspiration? Check out these ideas:

  • Poetry4Kids is the poetry playground of children’s author Kenn Nesbitt. It has a rhyming dictionary, funny and classic children’s poems, games, and poetry lessons and activities.
  • Power Poetry is the world’s first and largest mobile poetry community for youth, offering tips for writing visual poetry, digital slams, and a platform to help you “find your voice and use it to change the world!”
  • Read how students used natural language processing to make a computer write poetry
  • Use the Dear Poet 2020 Lesson Plan to explore and interact with poetry

We want to see your projects! After the livestream, we encourage you to post your visual poem on Twitter or Instagram. Tag us @MakerEdOrg with #MakerEdAtHome and #shapepoem

Learning in the Making: LIVE! is an online video series designed to support educators and families with accessible hands-on learning experiences. This work is part of our focus on supporting remote learning in various environments. (To learn more, read this blog post about our work during shelter-in-place measures in 2020.) 

Each week, we are hosting a live making activity on our YouTube channel and sharing related resources on our blog. 

We are so excited to support hands-on learning as educators, caregivers, and young learners shift to distance learning, and we need your support! Donate today so we can keep going. 


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