Welcome to the Authors Take Action #ClimatePoemProject!
Poets, educators, and parents, we have asked children's poets and authors to create a series of writing prompts related to CLIMATE. We hope that kids and classrooms will generate poems based on these prompts for National Poetry Month or for Earth Day, April 22.
1. Denise Krebs is a writer and retired educator living and observing nature in the Mojave Desert of California. Her prompt is inspired by poet Mary Oliver. Carefully observe something in nature, and then respond with a short poem.
2. Patricia J. Franz is a poet and children’s writer who lives in, loves, and writes about desert flora and fauna. Write a poem about the desert in the voice of a bird, a reptile, an animal, or a cactus that lives there.
4. Middle grade author and poet Laura Shovan invites you to write about Houses of the Future: "Can you imagine, in a poem, a different kind of house or dwelling? One that could withstand sea rise, stormy winds, wildfires, and intense rains?"
5. Matthew Winner of The Children's Book Podcast invites you to write a Golden Shovel. New to this poetry form? Matthew explains how it works and shares his own model poem, inspired by a quote from youth activist Greta Thunberg.
7. Take recycling to a whole new level with poet and teacher Heidi Mordhorst of WHISPERshout Writing Workshop! Watch this video about schools built out of plastic bottles, and then imagine sitting inside a school like that. Write a poem describing what you see, hear, and feel around you. How is it different than a regular school? Or... imagine building a school out of something else that usually gets thrown away, like tires or old washing machines or cardboard boxes. Maybe your poem will sound like an engineer's structural drawing or an architect's blueprint or a TV commercial advertising your new recycled school! Read the full prompt here.
9. "One way to help our community adapt to climate change is to make decisions based on what we think the climate will be in future, instead of what it is now. I do that by being picky about the plants I put in my garden," says children's author and poet Sarah Grace Tuttle. Write a poem about planting for the future. Sarah has questions to help you brainstorm. She is the author of Hidden City: Poems of Urban Wildlife.
12. During the Great Depression, Americans learned to “Use it up / Wear it out / Make it do / Or do without.” Historical novelist Lyn Miller Lachman asks us to write a poem inspired by this saying. Will you write about a toy, a piece of clothing, an object you can repair -- or something else?
13. Middle grade author Alison Green Myers has a #climatepoetryproject prompt for us at the Highlights Foundation blog! Think about nature's highs and lows. You might try a diamante or palidrome poem for this one -- forms that can emphasize opposites.
14. Often, the first thing we think about when we hear "climate" is the weather. From author, journalist, and poet Hiba Tahir, we have this prompt: Write a poem about your oldest and most distinct memory of a weather event. Place either yourself or a favorite fictional character in the scene, and end the poem on a hopeful note.
15. Nancy Johnson James is a poet, public educator and picture book author. To celebrate Earth Day, she asks us to write a poem using this prompt: The world is still wild. How is the earth still wonderfully wild despite any attempt to control it?
Middle grade author and poet Laura Shovan here! Authors Take Action is organizing a community poetry project for kids. We are planning this endeavor for National Poetry Month and Earth Day, both in April.
I am inviting children's poets and authors (YOU!) to create writing prompts for the project. The idea is to provide a variety of poetry prompts on our theme: Climate. We hope that children and classrooms will generate poems based on these prompts for National Poetry Month or for Earth Day, April 22.
When creating a poetry prompt, interpret this topic loosely. CLIMATE can be:
rain, snow, drought, storms,
sea rise or beach erosion,
a favorite place,
in the news,
To give you some examples, when I led a similar project in 2020, these were some favorite prompts on the theme of WATER:
• a creepy creature (real or imagined) that lives in the water;
• photographs of specific places: Crater Lake in Oregon, Elves' Chasm at the Grand Canyon;
• vernal ponds;
• sound clips of water;
• an article and video on slurpee waves;
• paintings with water elements;
• a picture of a fogbow; (https://earthsky.org/earth/what-is-a-fogbow)
• or use poetic forms such as acrostic.
If you would like to contribute a prompt, please contact me here :https://laurashovan.com/contact/ I will send you an Authors Take Action: Climate Poem Project 2023 graphic and further instructions for posting your prompt on your own website or blog. Links to all of the prompts will be posted right here at Authors Take Action.
Thank you all. I’m looking forward to working on this project with you.
A follow up book drive is in progress. To contribute, please see the blog post below, which provides details. Thank you!
We are honored that WNDB has agreed to partner with us to ensure that we proceed in as sensitive and thoughtful and inclusive a manner as possible. On April 20th, 2021, we will also be partnering with #DiverseVerse to work together to spread messages against hate crimes, by using the power of poetry and amplifying BIPOC poets' voices. We hope you will join us.