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It’s Day 16 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.

It’s wonderful to have Michelle Heidenrich Barnes here with a writing challenge for us today.

Michelle’s poetry prompt is: Water Wordplay

Michelle Heidenrich Barnes

When Laura asked me for a poetry prompt about water, I immediately thought of a water-themed workshop I presented back in 2016. It was adapted from Nikki Grimes’s exercise to write a free verse poem using wordplay, which you can find HERE.

Think about the word WATER. Close your eyes and picture what it means to you. Consider your memories and all of your senses—how water looks, sounds, feels, smells, and tastes.

Now write a poem that begins, “Water is a __________ word.” In the next few lines, help us to understand your experience of water. Play with poetic devices like alliteration and onomatopoeia, or even how the poem is arranged on the page!

Here are some excerpts from poems my students wrote a few years ago:

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You’ve got this, wordsmiths! Draft a poem that begins with “Water is a ___ word” by the end of the day tomorrow, Tuesday, April 7, 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.

Michelle Heidenrich Barnes has been sharing poetry at Today’s Little Ditty since 2013. Her poetry has also appeared in magazines, greeting cards, on the streets of Washington DC, and in anthologies such as I Am Someone Else, The Poetry of US, One Minute till Bedtime, and Here We Go: A Poetry Friday Power Book. http://www.michellehbarnes.com/

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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.

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

14 responses to “#WaterPoemProject: Day 16, Michelle Heidenrich Barnes”

  1. […] process: Taking another tip from Laura Shovan’s blog today and having fun with describing words. The background picture actually inspired the […]

  2. Water is a refreshing word
    Gurgling and bubbling
    Foaming fun
    Quenching the soul

  3. Water is a word
    of wonder

    a wild word
    that arrives
    by thunder

    a competitive word,
    splashing, catching
    flat stones: skipping,
    counting, sinking

    a reverberating
    word whose voice
    is never quiet,
    a riot of motion

    a wandering word
    that flows from head
    to heart to tongue

    Water is a word
    of wonder

  4. mia says:

    water is a crystal word
    clear as a hundred little diamonds
    that sway and shimmer on gentle strings;
    cold and sharp, it glimmers
    in a glassy stream that catches the light
    in each ever-changing angle

  5. Linda Baie says:

    Water is a summer word,
    of lake-side, beach-front days.
    It dips and dives;
    it comes alive
    from water-splashing play!
    Linda Baie ©

  6. My poem today feels random, but oh, well…

    Water is a wet word
    worrying about overflow
    flowing to the lowest point
    shower or storm, it knows where to go
    Go on down to the river to pray
    Water is a wet word any day.

  7. […] 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. […]

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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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