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Happiness Poetry

Catalog Poems – This poetry writing exercise explores the notion that happiness is not just a ‘ha, ha’ moment, it means so much more to the well-being of each individual person.

Poetry Writing Scaffold

Happiness Catalogue Poem

I find I get the best results by ‘cutting and pasting’ the scaffold then printing it out and work through it line by line. You have then demonstrated a process and seized any teachable moments.

Step 1 – Children work in pairs to fill in the missing words with the teacher’s direction.

Happiness is…
Happiness is a child’s (object doing something somewhere)
Happiness is (a beautiful natural feature) (where)
Happiness is (an object made by humans) (doing something poetic)
Happiness is (a small natural feature) (where)
Happiness is (very, very brief outline of getting the best present ever)
Happiness is a relaxing walk (where) with (important people to you)
Happiness was (childhood memory that causes you to laugh)
Happiness is (a time you feel safe with family or friends)
Happiness is (a time where you’ve helped someone)
Happiness is (your favorite food) (where)
Happiness is (something a baby takes delight in)
Happiness is (something an elderly person takes joy in)
Happiness is the essence of (something deep and poetic)
Happiness is not…
Happiness is (own choice)
Happiness was (own choice)

Happiness is a mother…(doing something)
Happiness is a father…(doing something)
Happiness is (a quote from a famous author – good intro to a quotations dictionary)
Happiness is the warmth of …
Happiness is being appreciated for…
Happiness is the love of…
Happiness is like ________________. It_____________and it ________________.
Happiness is p____________________, p______________ and p_________________.
NB You can change the letters but all three gaps must start with the same sound.
Happiness is (achieving a goal)
Happiness is (a single word).
Happiness is (the same single word as above)
Happiness is my friend (doing something selfless for you)
My happiness dwells (were inside you?)
Happiness stands at my door wrapped (in what)

Step 2 Select and number the lines you like from 1 to 15 so that they are in an order that you feel has the most impact. If you are doing this activity on a word processor, just cut and paste the lines into the order that you want.

Step 3 – Discuss adjectives and look for places where an adjective would give the reader a ‘better mental picture’ of an object or place. Insert a few adjectives.

Step 4 Conference this piece with a friend and discuss the choice of words and line order. Check the spelling you are unsure of.

Step 5 Celebrate the work. Create a Presentation, blog it, create a digital movie, email the poem around the world, publish it in the school newsletter, etc.