poetry, Soup Blog Poetry Festival

Tuesday Challenge – haiku

It’s Tuesday and you know what that means? It’s time for this week’s Tuesday Challenge. And this is one we know you’ve probably been expecting ever since we announced that there would be a tiny poem challenge every Tuesday …

Write a haiku.

A haiku is a short poem, usually inspired by nature. At school you might have been taught that a haiku is a 3-line poem with 5 syllables in the first line, 7 syllables in the second line and five syllables in the third line. That’s one way to write a haiku. Modern writers of haiku (in English) don’t always worry about the syllable count — they just keep their poem very, very short. Some say that it should be able to be read in a single breath.

A haiku is like a brief snapshot or image. Like a word-photograph. It doesn’t rhyme.

Here’s one I wrote a few days ago:

Weary crickets creak

A light floats in the pond —

August moon rising

If you write a haiku — will you share it with us in the comments below? (Check with a parent or teacher first.) Grownups are also welcome to post a haiku but please note that we are G-rated!

~ Rebecca

Until the end of August, we’ll have a new poetry challenge every Tuesday.

Read these earlier Poetry Challenges from the 2013 Soup Blog Poetry Festival. (You can still add your poems in the comments at each post if you like!)

Poetry Challenge & haiku © 2013 Rebecca Newman https://soupblog.wordpress.com

Tuesday Challenge – Magnetic poetry

Words waiting for a poem

Last week we talked to Sally Murphy about writing poetry and she mentioned that she likes playing with magnetic words to write poetry. Today’s challenge is to use magnetic words to write your own short poem.

Here are some ways you could go about it:

  • If you have your own set of magnetic words — use them on a fridge or table top to write a short poem. (Or try this extra challenge — scoop a large handful of words and only select words from this handful when writing your poem!)
  • Try an online magnetic words site like Magnetic Poetry. This site gives you the equivalent of scooping a large handful of magnetic words. You can choose words from that handful to write your poem. Note: check with a parent or teacher first to get permission to visit the website.
  • If you have an iPad, ask your parents’ permission and check out the free Word Mover app (recommended by The Book Chook!)
  • If you don’t own magnetic words and you don’t want to use an app or an online site — ask family or friends to call out words and write them down on slips of paper. When you have a small pile, use these like magnetic words to write your poem.

You might make some extra rules for yourself — will you limit yourself to the words in front of you? Will you be allowed to change words slightly (like adding an ‘s’ or ‘ed’ to a word)? Can you add conjunctions (like ‘and’ or ‘because’) if they are not already in your pile of words? You decide!

Here’s one I wrote, using words at the Magnetic Poetry site. I didn’t allow myself to change or add words when I wrote my poem.

Under tiger sun

they go

balloon in hand


Your turn! If you write a poem using magnetic words, we’d love you to leave it in the comments. (Grownups are welcome to take part too, but please note we are G-rated!)

poetry, Soup Blog Poetry Festival

Tuesday Challenge – A list poem

Today’s challenge is to write a list poem. A list poem can be rhymed or unrhymed and usually involves a list (of course!) of items or activities linked to a theme or the title. I like list poems with a twist at the end and I also love the ones that include repetition (maybe each line of the poem begins the same way).

Check out this list poem Shel Silverstein wrote called ‘Sick’.

Here’s a site with some ideas for writing list poems. It even includes a ‘fill in the box’ method for writing your own poem. I tried it out and here’s what I came up with. (Mine rhymes but yours doesn’t have to!).

What’s in my head? by Rebecca Newman

Ideas for my project on Captain Cook

Places to search for my library book

Multiple strategies for tough maths questions

A list of birthday gift suggestions

The quickest way to pass Level 4

Directions to get to the lolly store

Twenty two quotes from Pencil of Doom!

(Too much to remember to clean my room.)

What would you write a list poem about? We’d love to read yours — if it’s OK with your parents/teacher, post your list poems in the comments below!*

~ Rebecca (Soup Blog’s editor) 

*G-rated poems by grownups also welcome, so ask your teacher or your grandma to join in …

Soup Blog Poetry Festival

Tuesday Challenge – a 5-senses poem

autumn leavesToday’s challenge is to write a 5-line poem using your five senses — sight, hearing, taste, smell, touch. You might like to write a poem describing apples, a season, or your favourite colour (or your least favourite colour!).

Here’s one our editor (Rebecca) wrote:

Autumn is orange, red and brown

It sounds like rice bubbles for breakfast

It tastes like apple pie

It smells like freshly dug earth

It feels like skipping into the wind

Perhaps you could write a 5-senses poem about a feeling or an idea. (Check out some interesting Senses Poems here.)

We’d love to read your 5-senses poems — if it’s OK with your parents or teacher, post yours in the comments below!

Soup Blog Poetry Festival

Tuesday Challenge … limerick

On Tuesdays, until the end of August, we’ll post a tiny poem challenge for you. So here’s today’s challenge!

Write your own limerick and then read it out to someone to see if you can make them laugh … [OK, groaning counts].

A limerick has five lines — three long ones and two short ones — and a particular rhythm and rhyme. Limericks are often nonsensical and funny. Do you know any? Here are two we like:


There was an Old Man with a beard,
Who said ‘It is just as I feared! —
Two Owls and a Hen,
Four Larks and a Wren,
Have all built their nests in my beard!’

– Edward Lear


An ambitious young fellow named Matt
Tried to parachute using his hat.
Folks below looked so small
As he started to fall,
Then got bigger and bigger and SPLAT!

Graham Lester

Would you like some help writing your first limerick? You’ll find some instructions here.

If you think your limerick is a humdinger, ask a parent to email it to us and we’ll post it here! (If we post your limerick, we’ll only publish your first name, age, and state – or country if you are outside Australia.)


This limerick was written for Leith’s cousin Angus’s 2nd birthday card (good idea, Leith!).

There once was a boy named Gus,
Who drove to school on a bus.
He ate all the cake,
And got a belly-ache,
And made a terrible fuss.

by Leith , age 7,  QLD