In this visit, Youth Ambassadors write a collaborative poem with their adult participant. Poems are created by discussing prompted questions and recording the answers. This a wonderful way to connect, be present, spark joy, and learn a lot about your partner!
These are some guidelines for Collaborative Poetry. The most important thing to stay connected and be present. Be flexible, see where the conversation takes you: anything you do will add so much joy to your partner’s day!!
Step 1: Warm up and welcome.
- Introduce yourself to your adult partner. Ask your partner a few questions about themselves, and tell them a bit about yourself. Tell your partner him/her what you are going to do together today.
- Speak CLEARLY and SLOWLY (but not too slowly that your adult loses interest!)
- For example, say: “Hi! I am Ella. I am so happy to meet you! Today we are going to create a poem together!
Step 2: There are 6 questions used to build the poem.
Ask your partner each questions, and then offer your own answers, and record both responses. These lines will be used to construct your poem. You can adjust these questions if you want to, based on what you have already learned about your partner. Have fun with it!
1. What makes you smile?
- Sample answer: bonfires on the beach, bbq’s on the beach after Church
2. What does sunshine taste like to you?
- Sample answer: freshly squeezed lemonade, key line squares
3. What sounds do you make when you are eating your favorite dessert?
- Sample answer: yummm, hm hm hm (we want to trigger the senses.)
4. If you could be anywhere in the world, where would you be? How would you feel?
- Sample answer: Australia, feeling adventurous. Or in Texas, where your partner grew up, feeling love.
5. If your toes were walking on the beach on a summer day, what would your feet say?
- Sample answer: my toes would say “yay” because they love the sand, my toes would say “ouch!”
6. Make up your own silly question!
Step 3: Combine your answers to put a fun poem together.
It does not have to rhyme or have any true form, just have fun with it! Here is an example poem put together from the questions above:
I smile because of the fried chicken after church on a Sunday,
and the bonfire on the beach on a humid summer day, and summer nights.
Sunshine tastes like freshly squeezed lemonade,
or the keylime squares from the small bakery down the street,
Yummmmm, hm hm hm.
In my dreams I go to back to my childhood home in Texas and walk on the beach,
My toes say “Ouch” when the sand is too hot.
- Read this poem to your partner out loud a few times, and talk about it!
Step 4: Saying goodbye
At the end of the session, tell your partner what a lovely time you had speaking with them, you wish them well, and that you would like to connect again soon.