How to Play the Poetry Game:
What you'll need:
pens or pencils, small slips of paper, 2 containers (boxes, cups, etc.) paper, folder or
notebook (optional), your "thinking caps", table or lapboards
Setting it up:
1) Each player gets a pen or pencil, some small slips of paper, and a few sheets of paper.
2) Place the two containers in the center of the table. One is for word clues and the other is
3) Assign a "Poet Laureate"/mediator (PL) and a "word grabber" (WG)
4) If more than four players, split into groups of 3-5. (Each group chooses a PL and the WG.)
Choosing a topic:
This can be done for the entire group or each smaller group can choose its own.
1) Each player writes down a topic word/phrase on a slip of paper and puts it in one of the
containers. The players may decide to leave it wide open or to narrow the type of topic to
"funny" or "sexy" or "scary"...you get the idea. If the get-together has a theme, that
might be the topic of choice, i.e., Halloween or Christmas, or perhaps baby shower or...the
ideas are limitless.
2) One slip of paper is drawn out of the container, and its contents becomes your topic.
Writing the poem:
1) Each person writes at least three words or short phrases (Team's choice) related to the
topic on separate slips of paper .
2) The "Word Grabber" collects the slips and puts them in the "cue cup", mixes them up and
then draws one slip at a time until a predermined number is reached (4-6 for short poem,
8-10 for longer poem.).
3) As each word or phrase is drawn, the group "brainstorms" to create a complete thought
about the topic (it doesn't have to be a complete sentence.) .
4) As each complete thought is ready, the PL writes it down on a slip of paper.(one thought
5) When all the thoughts are done, it's up to the team to decide in what order they fit best.
6) HERE'S the really fun part: to form the rhymes, the completed thoughts may need a little bit
NOTE: Poems do not have to rhyme but in this game, it's much more challenging if they do. The group should decide what type of poem they are going to write. (See format suggestions for ideas regarding rhyme patterns and types of poems.)
7) The poem is "done" when the group
decides it's done, but a time limit and
number of lines should be decided before
If more than one poem is created during the game, the entire group votes to decide the winning poem.
THERE WILL BE CONTESTS FROM TIME TO TIME ON THIS WEBSITE...SO SAVE YOUR POEMS AND SEND ME THE BEST OF THEM!
Poetry Format Suggestions:
Most adults are familiar with a few forms of poetry, as are kids nowadays. You might choose to write a haiku or a limerick, or perhaps your group loves a challenge and opts for a sonnet. Many times, poets write poems that end up with iambic pentameter, and quite often the poet doesn't preplan it - this form of rhythm and rhyme has been around for so long that it has become well-known and happens unconsciously. Any of these can be quite fun to write and entertaining to read, but to simplify the game, you might want to choose a certain rhyme pattern. Below are a few suggestions:
Couplets: Each set of two lines ends in rhyme, i.e. :
Let's go and play some pool,
Our cue stick is our tool.
If we eye each ball just right,
We might win a game tonight.
( Now THAT poem won't win any prizes, but it does sound suspiciously like iambic pentameter!)
Alternate line rhyming:
Let's go out and play some pool,
And if we eye each ball just right,
With the cue stick - our trusty tool
We might win a game tonight.
Many other rhyming variations are possible, and there are no "wrong" ways to do it. The overall structure can be anything from one long series of verses to several stanzas composed of verses divided into groups of four, six, eight, or...well you get my drift. Just let the ideas and chaotic creativity flow - toss caution and convention to the winds and see what you come up with!