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Pantry poetry: let food be your muse

Let food inspire your child to practice descriptive writing.

By Karen Heath, Consulting Educator

At either a special or typical meal, have your child make a list of the food and drink being consumed. Choose one item from the list, and collect word images to describe the food or drink. (For example, macaroni and cheese: hot, gooey, cheesy, creamy, yellow, etc.)

Next make a list of comparisons (creamier than pudding, gooier than mud, etc.). From there, work on some similes (hot as an oven, crunchy like pretzels, etc.) Finally, you take all the images and comparisons and create a poem, beginning with descriptive words, moving into comparisons and similes, and coming back to the original idea.

Kids will have a lot of fun with this, and you can do the oral "composing" while you eat. Keep your poems and make a collection of food poetry that can be displayed in your kitchen.

Karen Heath is an elementary language arts curriculum specialist in Barre, Vermont. She has created and implemented an innovative accelerated language arts program for elementary students in her school. After more than 20 years of teaching, Karen was named Vermont's 2005 Teacher of the Year. She holds a master's degree in education and is the mother of two school-aged children and one child in college.

Comments from readers

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