This activity provides an open-ended opportunity to respond to a story using words. I’d probably use it for children age 7+ after sharing a Bible story with them as I don’t want negotiating the words to become the focus for early readers. For them I’d use something similar but picture based like this.
This set of words was created by Margaret Pritchard Houston from Mustard Seeds for use on Epiphany when she rolled a few stories into one; the Kings and Anna/Simeon, and the teachers, to show different people discovering who Jesus was in different ways. However, these words could be used for lots of different stories, or you could make your own with your own choice of words.
You can make your own custom-made “magnetic” poetry set by printing out the pictures below. You could print them onto paper or card and use them on black sheets of paper. Or you could make them magnetic by printing onto sheets of magnetic paper or sticking magnetic tape on the back of your paper or card. Margaret used black card as the background for each poem, and provided white chalk to add decoration or additional elements. If you’re making magnets, you could use a baking tray as the background.
Margaret included the following instructions:
The first rule of make-your-own poetry is that there are no rules. Except that while there are plenty of times to be silly, this isn’t one of them.
You can rearrange your poem as many times as you like.
You can make several poems, one long poem, lots of short poems, one medium poem…
You can add prefixes and suffixes.
You can throw away the words and use your own.
This is simply to give you ideas to get you started.