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It’s Day 13 of our #WaterPoemProject — 30 days of water-themed poetry prompts from your favorite children’s authors.

If you’re looking for National Poetry Month writing prompts, we’ve got you covered. Start with Day 1 and you’ll have poetry prompts from now through the end of April.

New to this project? Please read the Introduction and FAQ. Or you can watch this video of me describing how to participate. It’s on the YouTube channel Authors Everywhere.

Sharing our writing prompt for Day 13 is middle grade author and YA verse novelist Joy McCullough. (Side story — Joy was my PitchWars coach when I was revising The Last Fifth Grade of Emerson Elementary. We have been friends ever since!)

Joy’s poetry prompt is: What Are Water Bears?

Do you know what a water bear is? Maybe you picture something like this:

But did you know this microscopic water creature is called a water bear? (It’s more officially called a tardigrade.)

Sometimes the same word can have very different meanings. Your task is to write a poem using a word with very different meanings, but to include both of the word’s meanings in your poem. So you might write a poem about water bears, and include both polar bears and tardigrades. What makes them different? Do they have anything in common?

Here are some more words with different meanings. You can use one of them, or think up one of your own!

cool

dove

yard

tear

bark

nail

bolt

season

draft

harbor

racket

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Okay, poets! Draft a poem using a word that has two very different meanings by the end of the day tomorrow, Saturday, April 4, 2020.

If you’re doing the #WaterPoemProject with a group, be sure to share or post your rough draft, read other people’s poems, and cheer for their efforts. Or leave your poem here, in the comments.

Joy McCullough is the author of books for kids and teens. Her YA novel-in-verse, Blood Water Paint, won the Washington State Book Award and was long-listed for the National Book Award. Her middle grade novel A Field Guide to Getting Lost comes out on April 14th! Visit Joy’s website.

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#WaterPoemProject Series Posts:

Project Introduction
FAQ
Prompt 1: Irene Latham, The Language of Water
Prompt 2: Elizabeth Steinglass, What Would a Raindrop Say?
Prompt 3: Linda Mitchell, Found Haiku
Prompt 4: Shari Green, Fogbow Fibonacci
Prompt 5: Margaret Simon, The Taste of Water
Prompt 6: Heather Meloche, The Shape of a Wave
Prompt 7: Amy Ludwig VanDerwater, A Water Memory
Prompt 8: Laura Shovan, Rainy Day Opposites
Prompt 9: Kathryn Apel, Silly Solage
Prompt 10: Buffy Silverman, A Watery Home
Prompt 11: Kara Laughlin, Frozen Fog
Prompt 12: Debbie Levy, Jump into a Limerick
Prompt 13: Joy McCullough, What Are Water Bears?
Prompt 14: Linda Baie, Frozen Water Skinny
Prompt 15: Chris Baron, The Hidden World of Water
Prompt 16: Michelle Heidenrich Barnes, Water Wordplay
Prompt 17: Susan Tan, The Sound of Water
Prompt 18: Mike Grosso, Waterplay!
Prompt 19: R. L. Toalson, Wishing Well
Prompt 20: Margarita Engle, Ode to the Shore
Prompt 21: Faye McCray, Poem in a Bubble
Prompt 22: Meg Eden, Surprising Connections

Please support the #WaterPoemProject authors by buying their books from your favorite independent bookstore.

3 responses to “#WaterPoemProject: Day 13, Joy McCullough”

  1. Stick to the plans
    is what I was told
    before the plans
    I was told to stick to
    veered off river
    into the unknown

    I gathered the sticks
    and branches and
    leaves, and lit the fire
    to warm the bones,
    to help us leave
    our way to home

    • Laura Shovan says:

      It feels like there’s a story behind this poem. Or maybe it’s the beginning of one! Stick (V) and sticks (N) took you in an interesting direction.

  2. […] A Watery Home Prompt 11: Kara Laughlin, Frozen Fog Prompt 12: Debbie Levy, Jump into a Limerick Prompt 13: Joy McCullough, What Are Water Bears? Prompt 14: Linda Baie, Frozen Water Skinny Prompt 15: Chris Baron, The Hidden World of Water Prompt […]

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Laura Shovan

Laura Shovan is the author of the award-winning middle grade novel, The Last Fifth Grade of Emerson Elementary. Her second book, Takedown, is a Junior Library Guild and PJ Our Way selection. Look for A Place at the Table, co-written with Saadia Faruqi, in 2020. Laura is a poet-in-the-schools Maryland.

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