Sometimes the best thing to do for Red Ribbon Week is to have the students make their own poetry. Using the old Roses are red, violets are blue poem is easy for the students to make up their own rhyme. Below are some examples.Caroline Mackay 2007
Roses are red, Violets are blue, I won't ever take drugs, How about you?
Roses are red, Night is black, I won't take drugs, Cause I'm smarter than that.
Roses are red, Trees are forest green, taking lots of drugs could make me real mean.
Roses are red sheets are white, someone offers me drugs, I'd say that is just not right.
Roses are red some bears are brown, taking drugs any time would make my parents really frown.
Use all the colors, gray, yellow, gold, silver, khaki, hot pink, clear, lime, striped, pretty pink, camouflage, rust, peach, fresh cream, aqua, red, tan, purple, violet, red white and blue, black, red, navy blue, sky blue, bright plaid. Then some of the students will go right to the dictionary and find others.
Others like aquamarine, azure, beige, chocolate, coral, crimson, salmon, turquoise, brick fuchsia, honey dew, indigo, ivory, lavender, lemon chiffon, cyan, linen, magenta, maroon, rose, moccasin, Peru, sienna, teal, thistle, and many others.
If they actually would like to see the color they could go on line and in the search box write html color names and it will take them to a site that will show the child the actual color.
After trying something simple like the Roses are Red poem have them try some other forms of poetry. The ones that most students are familiar with or are taught in elementary school is haiku, tongue twisters, and limericks.
Have the students try other styles of poetry like haiku. Haiku Poetry is an unrhymed Japanese verse. Seventeen syllables in all, three unrhymed lines of five, seven and five syllables. It is usually written in the present tense. It is rumored that the 5/7/5 rule was made for school children to understand and learn this type of poetry. Although this usually is used in describing seasons it works well with describing the results of taking drugs. Or it does well to describe things to do besides drugs.
A tongue twister would be fun, also. Students love to do tongue twisters because they can be silly and do not have to make a lot of sense. Alliterations could be taught at this time because that is what tongue twisters are. Tongue Twisters are made up of lines that are hard to say fast. The poem should tie your tongue into knots.
Another type of poetry that they might try with the topic of drugs is a limerick. A limerick is a rhymed humorous poem of five lines. The rhyming scheme is a-a-b-b-a.
All these types of poetry could be used successfully to have the students express their feelings about drugs. Or they could use them to express their fears about drugs, their desire to stay off drugs. Poetry is just a way for them to express their inner feelings without fear. Red Ribbon week is an ideal time to teach poetry and have these feelings expressed.
Caroline Mackay is a retired teacher of thirty seven years and writer and producer of many school programs. You can view her plays and programs at the site she hosts. She is the host of http://www.ezeducationplays.com/articles.html And http://www.ezelectronicelements.com/page/page/3966316.htm
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