Activity Plan 4-5: Word Play
Children will listen to a silly poem and then use their imagination and language skills to create their own
- Grades: PreK–K
1. Tell children that sometimes poets make up silly words and put them together to create fun poems. Then share the first two stanzas of "Jabberwocky" by Lewis Carroll, explaining that the things mentioned in the poem are all pretend:
Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
All mimsy were the borogroves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.
"Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
The fruminous Bandersnatch!"
2. Encourage children to share their responses to the poem. How did the poem make them feel? What words did the writer make up? What do children think the word "brillig" might mean? Ask children why the writer might have made up words instead of using real ones.
3. Invite children to work together to create a poem, using real and pretend words. Sitting in a circle, make up the first line of a poem, letting yourselves be silly: "The children go outside and run and sun and willy-wun." "At school today we´ll read and bead and snead." Write your line on a piece of paper.
4. Ask the child next to you to add the next line to the poem, reminding him that he can be as silly as he wants and can make up words. Have children take turns adding lines to the poem, writing down each line. When everyone has shared a line, read the poem aloud. Congratulate children on their creativity!
Invite children to illustrate the poem they created. Each child can draw a picture to go along with the line he or she added. Write the line of the poem below each picture and then bind the pages together, adding a cover.