Trine Grillo

Young Writers - Try some of these

                                             writing activities.

I love the sound of metaphors, don't you?

A metaphor is a comparison of two different things that have something in common.

You must write it without using the words 'like' or 'as.'                         

My favorite metaphor is from a poem entitled "The Highwayman" by Alfred Noyes.

                     The moon was a ghostly galleon tossed upon cloudy seas.

Can you spot the comparison? The eerie moon in the night sky seems to glide among the clouds the way an ancient Spanish ship (sometimes called a galleon) tossed upon the restless sea.

Here is a metaphor written by Satch, one of my third grade students. Pretty amazing for third grade, I think!

                      An echo is a blinking Christmas light.

                                                                ©Satch G.        

(Did you catch it?   hello...hello...hello ~ blink...blink...blink)

Have you read a metaphor you like? Try to write one of your own. E-mail it to me and I will try to include it on this page in the future.     

Another bright idea: Metaphors are super fun to illustrate. Can you do it?


A diamante is a diamond-shaped poem that tells about opposites.

Selfish, Stingy
Grasping, Hoarding, Hogging

Miser,  Lonely,  Thoughtful,  Friend
Sharing, Giving, Serving
Gracious, Kindhearted

                                                ©Trine Grillo 

Let’s write one together!

First, think of a pair of opposites such as light and dark or dog and cat.

Poetry Pattern:

Line 1 and line 7 are one-word nouns – The Opposites.
Line 2 has two adjectives that describe the word in line one.
Line 3 has three “ing” words – action words that describe the noun in line one.

Now skip down to line 6.
Line 6 has two adjectives that describe the opposite word in line seven.
Line 5 has three “ing” words – action words that describe line seven.
Line 4 is the fun one! This line moves your poem from one opposite to the other.
Line 4 has four words. The first two describe the noun in line one; the last two describe the noun in line seven.

Do you notice wondrous cloud formations? Do you look for pictures in the clouds?

Do you know that everyone sees something different?  You might see a dog with an alligator on its head. That same cloud looks like a giraffe to me!

It is most fun to draw them. Take your paper and colored pencils outside today and draw what you see in the sky. But, hurry! If you look away for too long, the breezes blow and your alligator-headed dog will turn into a zooming NASCAR.

Bare Trees
What do you see when you look at a bare winter tree?  Is it lonely?
Does it scare you? Perhaps you see beauty.

I see a sturdy skeleton. Resting, waiting to support the leaves and blossoms of the coming spring.

One of my students had a similar idea as he wrote the following Haiku:

                      See the soldier tree
                  Guarding and waiting for spring
                  When blossoms will grow.

                                                                © Chris M.

 Here is another perspective:

                         A brown bare flower
                    Standing in the winter breeze
                    Trimmed by the cold man.

                                                                    © Katie R.

Try it! A Haiku is a tiny Japanese poem. It is traditionally written about nature. Follow this pattern:

                        Line 1 – 5 syllables
                        Line 2 – seven syllables
                        Line 3 – 5 syllables

A cinquain has a slightly different pattern.

Line 1                 Title                            2 syllables
Line 2                 Describe Title           4 syllables
Line 3                Action words             6 syllables
Line 4                 Feelings                     8 syllables
Line 5                 Synonym for title       2 syllables

                            The Game of Life
                            Playing, striving to score
                            Adrenaline, glory, success

                                                                    ©Aaron G.

Now you try!

Hurry Firecracker!   
Did you watch a fireworks show this summer? Many people get to see one on the Fourth of July, or at a baseball game, or amusement park.  I don’t completely understand how they work, but I love them!

My students and I write firecracker poetry together.

First, think about lying on your blanket beneath the summer sky.
What do you hear? What do you feel?
Make a list of firecracker action words. Here are some of ours to get you started:


Then make a list of firecracker colors:


Do you smell anything? Taste anything?

How would describe what is happening in the night sky?

            Clouds shatter
            Paint bottles burst
            Jets on fire

Can you turn your ideas into a poem? What would you shout out to a firecracker?

Send me your ideas and we will add them to our poem!

Hurry Firecracker!

We can hardly stand the wait!

Crack a laser lemon lightning bolt
That rumbles the Earth with a jerk and a jolt.

Wave your sizzling snaky arms
With dangling bracelets of diamond charms.

Spin a whistling emerald hurricane….

 © “Hurry Firecracker!” by Trine Grillo