This site is full of creative poetry/art exercises that aim to bring pleasure back into using words and writing. We welcome the participation of you and your child, please have a look at the list of contents, or the blog archive and try out any of the exercises that you like the look of. We welcome your comments on the success (or otherwise) of the idea…

Wednesday 20 October 2010

puzzle writing with collage

Collage is a way to play with the look and meaning of words on a page. Individual letters can take on great importance if they are emphasised. By changing their scale and colour, words can be made to jump around the page in all directions, like little acrobats. (In fact, an early Ian Hamilton Finlay poem Acrobats does just this.) There's something very satisfying about spending time in ordering your colours and alphabet, for boys who like fiddling and puzzles it will be a winner. For some children, the empty white page can be intimidating and using collage can help distract them, because the material comes readymade.

Odd one out. ©  Lois Blackburn 2010 
This is an exercise in creating visual puzzles:

1. Discuss what you would like to create. In this case, I've used a rainbow of colours... which is the odd one out?
2. If there are any words you are unsure how to spell, practice them on a separate piece of paper.
3. You can cut out words/letters from newspapers, magazines (make sure they've been finished with first!) food and toy packaging. Once you start looking for letters, you will see them everywhere.
4. Carefully cut the letters out.
5. Rearrange the letters on your page so they form the words you've picked
6. Puzzle your friends and family with your 'odd one out'. 

This was an exercise in creating a visual puzzle, but the idea could be adapted to help learn the spellings of colours,  creating each word in its appropriate colour to reinforce learning. Joe's example here is his favorite colour. Golden.
Golden, by Joe 2010

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