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Word Bowl Poetry


Submitted by: Nancy Farrell  

We make a word bowl using a large plastic or glass bowl.  Some groups contribute nouns, verbs, describing words or even short phrases to put in the bowl. The words may be thematic or taken from poetry books (since they contain rich lang.) if you like.   It is an exercise which helps children break out of their traditional approach toward language.

An excellent way to get the kids started is to pick, at random, a group of ten or more words from the bowl and arrange them on their large piece of paper.  Markers, colored pencils and crayons help to make their poem more fun.  Complete sentences or thoughts are not necessary.  Sensory images are what you're looking for.  When they are satisfied with their arrangement of words, they may read them to the class.




Hazy morning

Angry hawk on the back porch




Three apples release their

mother's love


(Native American)


uncles of the old ways

in the desert-

watching peaceful

painted clouds


moisture for corn.


Use this word bowl as a center and add words during the week , if you like!  Kids may add words to their collection as they create their poems.  The basic word bowl words are just to get them hooked.