Tag Archives: poetry

How Did this Peacock Lose Its Colors?


Hello Inksters,

Happy Midsummer! It’s been way too long since we posted.

Your Inkspiration: 


Yes, this is a peacock. Yes, it is white. We saw this peacock at Grounds for Sculpture in Hamilton, New Jersey a few years ago.

So how did this peacock lose its colors?


How does the peacock get its colors?

Choose one of these questions and write away — right where you are!

Send in your stories, poems, explanations, plays, or songs. If you decide to color or paint the peacock, send your illustrations in as well.

Happy Creating, Inksters!



Listen to the Stars



Stars Over Acadia Ipad 4 Wallpaper


Hello Inksters!

Just in case you didn’t hear, scientists last week confirmed that gravitational waves exist. They even recorded the sound of two black holes colliding! Listen here: Gravitational Waves

And learn more here: National Geographic

And here: The Guardian

Coincidentally, today’s guest inkspiration — a poem by Logan, age 11 — imagines the possibility of hearing the stars. What a surprise in that line — the idea of hearing something people normally spend time gazing, or looking, at. After reading the poem, we think about nighttime and the stars in a new way.

Here is Logan reading the poem:

Logan reading “Nighttime”

And here is the text of her poem:

It’s hard to listen in the daytime 
the sounds are jumbled- blended together 
If you hear a special sound, you have to hold it quick- 
in a second 
it’s gone 
Daytime sounds disappear 
into night.
The loud 
blends smoothly into the quiet after the sun goes down. 
At night, 
the air is cool,  
the sounds are sharper 
and the only human things are the cars that sometimes rush by way past eleven. 
At nighttime 
You’re open to the sounds of the animals 
It’s easier to ​be​ at night. 
Like all your senses are in high definition 
Listen closely- 
You might just hear the stars. 
 Now it’s your turn! Open your Writer’s Notebook and write about one of the following:
  • Spend time with this poem. Write down words you enjoy from the poem, phrases you like, questions you have about the poem.
  • Show us what you see! Draw a picture to illustrate, or go along with, a part of the poem.
  • Write your own poem about a time of day. Logan writes about nighttime. What would your poem about nighttime be? What about the early morning? Or midday? Lunchtime or play time? Try to include a line in your poem that is surprising to your reader and that allows the reader to imagine something in a different way.

Drawn to the science? Write in your journals, too, about what you learned from the videos. What questions do you have about this discovery? What do you wonder about?

A big Inktopia Thank You to Logan for sharing her work with us!

Remember to share your creations and questions here by responding to the post.

Have an idea for an inkspiration? Send it to inktopiakids@gmail.com.


Poetry Inkspiration: Langston Hughes


Hi Inksters!

Today is the first day of February and of Black History Month. Today, we kick off the month with a guest inkspiration from Ava, age 8 — an inkspiration involving the poetry of Langston Hughes.

Here is a photograph of writer Langston Hughes, at his typewriter:

Ava’s mom, novelist Lauren Frances-Sharma, recently gave Ava the poem, “April Rain Song,”  to read aloud. Here is the poem. Read it aloud or click on the poem’s title below to listen to the recording:

April Rain Song

Let the rain kiss you
Let the rain beat upon your head with silver liquid drops
Let the rain sing you a lullaby
The rain makes still pools on the sidewalk
The rain makes running pools in the gutter
The rain plays a little sleep song on our roof at night
And I love the rain.

Then Ava’s mom asked her to set the to music. So Ava downloaded music from the web. Then Ava wrote two poems about the music.

Here is Poem #1:

Let the stream flow over the rocks
Let the cold stream water tickle your toes
Let the stream flow gracefully down the path
The beautiful water bumps up against the plants
The water slowly moves toward the trees
The fish squirm around in the freezing cold water.
I love swimming in a cold stream.

And here is Poem #2:

Let your wet blurry eyes lead you through the forest
Let your umbrella shift side to side
Let yourself feel the cold hard drops of rain on your face
All the animals creep and crawl to their hiding spots before the rain comes
Let your freezing body shiver in the rain
The leaves of the trees drip, soaked with water.

Now it’s your turn! Reread Langston Hughes’ poem and read Ava’s poems, too! Then set these poems to music. After you find your music, write a poem that uses the same repetition “Let the…”

A big Inktopia Thank You to Ava for sharing her work with us!

Remember to share your poems here by responding to the post.

Have an idea for a prompt? Send it to inktopiakids@gmail.com.


How Sweet it Is!



Today’s thINK thursday is all about Halloween and all that sweet candy our kids will collect as they go Trick or Treating. While I enjoy so much how creative my little Inksters are in their choice of costume, and how excited they are by Halloween parades and the chance to knock on their neighbors’ doors for treats, I dread thinking about the amount of sugar entering the house at the end of it all.

But, what if we take all that candy and turn it into sweet stories and poems? Here are some prompts:

  • Ask your Inkster to choose a piece of candy from their bags and tell the story of the evening from the candy’s point of view.
  • What if all the candy went on strike before Halloween?
  • Use your senses — seeing, hearing, tasting, touching, and smelling — to write a special poem about your favorite kind of Halloween candy.
  • What is it like for that Snickers to meet a Starburst?
  • Write this story and draw an illustration: The Candy that Wanted a Different Wrapper.
  • Or this story: The Candy that Became a Rapper

Remember to post your Inksters’ creations here and share some of your costume choices, too! Don’t forget to feed your own creative sweet tooth on these prompts, too!

Happy Writing! Happy Halloween!

Bonus World Cup Soccer Day #7: Cuckoo for Haiku



Hey Inksters!

We are on the last day — a BONUS DAY! — of our World Cup Soccer InkStarts. Today, we’re writing another Soccer poem: a Soccer Haiku.  


What is Haiku?

Haiku is a form of Japanese poetry. A haiku uses just a few words to capture a moment or idea. Traditionally, haiku is written in three lines, with five syllables in the first line, seven syllables in the second line, and five syllables in the third line. 


Syllables — huh?

Visit these links to remind yourself or to learn what a syllable is and how to count them in a word:

What are Syllables? 

How do you count Syllables?


How do you Haiku?

Now let’s pull together all we’ve learned and write our Soccer Haiku.

By now, you know what to do first: BRAINSTORM! Either go back to the list of soccer words you made yesterday when working on your ACROSTIC, or make a new list of words. Don’t worry about counting syllables just yet.

Next, use some of these words as you write two lines about soccer. Still don’t worry about counting syllables yet.

Then write a third line that completes the first two lines or that is about something completely different from the first two lines. Nope, no counting!

Now look at your three lines. Do these lines give you any new ideas?

Now it’s time to count syllables! Revise or change each line so that the first line has five syllables in the first lineseven syllables in the second line, and five syllables in the third line. It’s like a puzzle. Take your time and have fun!

Here’s a Soccer Haiku from an Inkster to help inspire you:

One. Two. Three. Four. Goal!
Who wins? Brazil or Chile?
Brazil wins the game!

–“World Cup Soccer,” by Lucas, age 6


We can’t wait to read your haikus. Remember to send them along.

Keep writing about soccer and anything else that inspires you!




World Cup Soccer Day #6: Soccer Poetry


Hello Inksters!

For today’s InkStart, write a Soccer ACROSTIC poem!

What is an ACROSTIC? Check this out:


First, BRAINSTORM or write down words that make you think about soccer. Dribble the words onto your the page until you can’t think of any more words.

Then, on another piece of paper, write the word SOCCER down the side of your paper, like this:


Then use your brainstormed words to write your poem.

If you want to change up the way you have been writing, and write this time using a computer instead, check out this on-line Acrostic program: Interactive Acrostic

The first word in each line of your poem will start with the letter on that line. So, for “S” we might write: “Sprinting up and down the field, a fast-paced 90 minutes.” Or you might just write “Sprinting.” You can use single words, phrases, or full sentences in your poem.

When you are finished with your ACROSTIC, be sure to illustrate your poem.

If you want to write another ACROSTIC, try one using the country name of your favorite team.

Want to learn about a national organization that helps thousands of students with little resources to play soccer, write poetry, and learn how to be involved in community change? Check out America SCORES.

Enjoy watching World Cup Soccer! Enjoy writing!