Saturday, April 18, 2009

SmallWorld's WordSmithery Week 6: Alliteration and Spring Flowers (or Fall Leaves)

Welcome back to the WordSmithery! If you are brand new here, I recommend that you go back and start at the beginning. My goal with the WordSmithery is to make creative writing exciting for writers of all ages. Here's what we've covered so far:
Lesson #1: Introduction and Journals
Lesson #2:
Introduction to Creative Writing, Featuring Good Words
Lesson #3:
Using Powerful Words to Create More Interesting Writing
Lesson #4: Similes
Lesson #5: Metaphors and Strong Verbs

I have a new feature since our last lesson: Share Your Writing! This is a place for you to share your kids' writing and to read other kids' writing to your own children. I encourage you to share there or link back to your own blog. My kids love to read what your kids have written!

And now for Lesson #6: Alliteration and Spring Flowers (or Fall Leaves) Poetry. As always, this lesson is loosely scripted. You might eliminate some things or add others as you go.

As you know if you are a regular here, I try to put the "speaking" parts in regular type and the answers in italics. And remember: parents/teacher: you should be doing the assignments, too! Here we go!

Alliteration and Spring Flowers (or Fall Leaves) Poetry

(Note: if you don't go through your journal assignments from the previous lesson on a regular basis, this is the time to share your journals! Remember: we only use encouraging words!)

I. Alliteration
We’ve talked about a lot of different tools that writers use in the past few lessons: adjectives, synonyms, similes, metaphors, strong verbs. Here’s a new one for you today:
A. Alliteration: What is alliteration? (Answer: When words start with the same sound in a sentence.)
1. Example: The shining sun shone on the silent seashore.
2. Tongue twisters are usually alliteration. What are some examples of tongue twisters? (Here are some examples. Take plenty of time to let the kids say these; this is fun stuff!)
• Six sick slick slim sycamore saplings.
• Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers.
Did Peter Piper pick a peck of pickled peppers?
If Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers,
where's the peck of pickled peppers Peter Piper picked?
• A big black bug bit a big black bear,
made the big black bear bleed blood.
• Friendly Frank flips fine flapjacks.
B. Now let's practice our own alliteration. I’ll start and you'll add on, and we'll see how far we can go building on a sentence. (Example: start with the word "very" and have each child add on a word. Keep going until you have at least 4-5 words. Very victoriously, Valerie vaulted.)
1. Fat 2. sneaky 3. Wanda 4. tornado

C. Individual activity: Let’s practice some alliterative sentences. I will give each of you one word, and you must add on to it. You should start each word with the same sound but you can add words likes to, on, in, a, the, etc. (You can choose your own words or here are some good ones: banana giraffe muddy concrete ship thistle neighbor) Share after they've had a chance to do this.

D. Remember, alliteration is just another tool that writers use—another way to make your writing interesting. That doesn't mean you always have to use alliteration, but making careful choices with words turns mediocre writing into exciting writing!

II. Spring Flower Poems (note: you can change this to fall leaf poems or even snowflake poems depending on the season)
[Note: This project could require some preparation on your part, depending on how you do this. You could use construction paper for each child as a background and then cut out flower petals (or leaves or snowflakes) and glue onto a flower stalk, or you could just draw or have your kids draw a simple flower—with room for writing—on paper. I like the look of the construction paper flowers the best, but see below for an example of one done on regular paper. The flower centers were done in a Word doc and the petals were added by hand.]
A. Now we are going to have a chance to make some beautiful spring (fall/winter) poems. I’m giving you each a sheet of paper with two flowers (leaves/snowflakes) on it. On one flower (leaf/snowflake), write something with alliteration about spring or flowers. Let’s work on some examples, and you can put these words together. (Brainstorm together about flowers and spring, spring colors, types of flowers, etc. (or leaves and fall, autumn, red, orange).

B. With the other flower (leaf), I’d like you to write a simile about spring (fall) or about a flower in each petal and then do another poem in the middle. Let’s brainstorm. Here are some examples you might finish: The flower is pink _________ ( as bubblegum.) The flower flutters like a butterfly. Spring smells like_________ (candy) and tastes like (cheesecake)

(At this point, let the kids take off with their own creativity. They can even write adjectives or snippets of poetry on the stems and leaves, or make clouds in the sky and use alliteration, etc. The possibilities are endless!)

That's it for this week's lesson! See below for the weekly journal writings!

Weekly Journal Writings

Day 1
Practice alliteration (same starting sounds) with these words:
• flowers
• candy
• dinosaur

[For example: Phillip gave fifteen floppy flowers to Felicia.]

Day 2
Pick one friend or family member and describe him/her using only the first letter of his/her name.

[For example, Tracy: titillating, tough, terrific, teasing, etc.]

Day 3
Draw and describe an imaginary pet that you would like (or not like) to have.

Day 4
Write about where you would go in a time machine.

Day 5
Describe today’s weather using strong, exciting verbs and adjectives.


Missed the previous weeks? Click on the links below for the whole WordSmithery experience!
Lesson #1: Introduction and Journals
Lesson #2:
Introduction to Creative Writing, Featuring Good Words
Lesson #3:
Using Powerful Words to Create More Interesting Writing
Lesson #4: Similes
Lesson #5: Metaphors and Strong Verbs

And don't forget to Share Your Writing! Also, I like link love. If you are using WordSmithery and have a blog, please take a minute copy the WordSmithery logo on my sidebar and point your readers to my blog!

All material on the page copyright 2009-10, Sarah Small.


  1. WordSmallery at its finest (WordSmithereening just didn't sound right)

  2. thank you - we are studying Beowulf right now and an alliteration activity is absolutely acceptable. :)

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  5. Just wanted you to know I've been doing these lessons with my son who hates to write and we've found them very enjoyable and they have helped him to enjoy writing immensely. Thank you, thank you for sharing this great resource.

  6. This is such a useful and stimulating timetable, definitely going to save it somewhere! Thanks for sharing!

  7. Your WordSmithery Assignments are the best!
    Next year I will be offering online Literature and Composition classes online for Junior High & High School Homeschooling students. Please stop by and check it out.

    Amy Howie


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