A Writer's Playground

Monthly Activities for Kids by Linda Martin Andersen

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Posts Tagged ‘Haiku’

H is for Haiku–Shared in Memory of Maureen Wartski

Posted by lindamartinandersen on April 9, 2016

A Writer's Playground Fotosearch_u17996074



A Writer’s Playground–a place to find wordplay, writing prompts, reasons to celebrate, and monthly calendar activities for kids and those young at heart  “H is for Haiku–Shared in Memory of Maureen Wartski” by Linda Martin Andersen

This month I’m sharing photos and blog posts from A-Z.  I’m excited about trying something new.  I hope you’ll stop by often throughout the month.

Check out the participants for the April (2016) Challenge.  There are plenty to choose from http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/

H is for Haiku–Shared in Memory of Maureen Wartski

A photo of Maureen Wartski shared with me for my blog. Copyright 2016. Linda Martin Andersen

A photo of Maureen Wartski shared with me for my blog. Copyright 2016. Linda Martin Andersen




“Haiku Walk”–Archived at her blog:

“When I was growing up in Japan, keeping eyes and ears open for interesting objects or events along the way was a game.” Read more here:


Archived at my blog:

Haiku poetry was shared by Maureen Wartksi, Robyn Hood Black, and Joy Acey.  Here is a haiku by Maureen:

Frostbitten flowers

Curl their petals inward

Guarding memories.

by Maureen Wartski

Enjoy more about haiku form and samples by three poets.


In another achieved blog post, Maureen shares her beautiful quilt art and a comment about her work:  “Personally, I like my wall-hangings and quilts to tell a story.”  Maureen achieved that and much more.


Moon Over Mountain Art Quilt by Maureen Wartski. Copyright 2016. Linda Martin Andersen

Moon Over Mountain Art Quilt by Maureen Wartski. Copyright 2016. Linda Martin Andersen

This lovely quilt art was a gift from Maureen when my husband was very ill.  It hung over my bed during his sickness and today it’s displayed in my dining room for the enjoyment of all who enter.  Maureen also mailed me original haikus and sometimes handmade cards each week during his extended illness.  I kept them all!  She richly blessed my life.

I miss Maureen and remember her fondly, especially when I read or hear haikus!

What “H” words come to mind for you? I hope you’ll share why they’re special to you.

Thank you for visiting “A Writer’s Playground.”  Come again soon and bring a friend. Please leave a comment.  Remember that children 13 and under need an adult to comment for them.  For more fun, sign up to follow my blog.  Thank you!

Posted in Activities for teachers and parents, Careers, Character Traits, Family Discussions, History, Homeschool Activities, Uncategorized, Writing, Writing Prompts | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments »

Drop Everything and Read. (D.E.A.R.) and Other April Celebrations

Posted by lindamartinandersen on April 1, 2015

  • A Writer's Playground Fotosearch_u17996074 “Drop Everything and Read.” (D.E.A.R.) and Other April Celebrations” by Linda Martin Andersen

April 12, 2015 is Drop Everything and Read. (D.E.A.R.)  If you’re a kid, make time to read this day, just for fun.  If you’re an adult, do the same!  If you still have items on your “To Do List” by late afternoon that day, can you put it aside and read something for pleasure?  Will you?  Warning:  don’t get so engrossed in reading that you forget to pick up your child, forget to do your homework, or walk out in traffic, but do make time to read.

Other Special Days in April:

  • April Fools  or All Fools Day: 1  Do you have little brothers or sisters?  Teach them to tell an April Fool’s joke, if they don’t know how.  Demonstrate for them and then  let them practice on you before trying it out on someone else.  Have fun!
  • International Pillow Fight Day: 4  Would you rather have a pillow fight with a foam pillow, a feather pillow, or a bean bag pillow?  Why?
  • Passover: 4  Who celebrates this religious holiday?  Why is it remembered?
  • Easter: 5  Why is this religious holiday important to Christians?  Name three of your family’s Easter traditions?  Which one is most special to you and why?
  • International Whistler’s Day: 5  Name a time that someone tried to whistle and couldn’t.  Name a time someone whistled so loudly that people turned to see what was happening.  Can you whistle?  Who taught you?  If you’d like to hear a champion whistler visit Phyllis Heil, The Whistling Woman, on YouTube here:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wbrbCcNxRf4
  • International Beaver Day: 7 Have you ever seen a beaver?  What was he doing?  Have you ever seen a beaver dam?  How can beaver dams be harmful to property?  Research to learn about beavers, their dams, trappers, and more.
  • National Farm Animals Day: 10 Have you ever been to a Barnyard birthday party? I haven’t, but I know someone who organized one for her triplets’ birthday party.  What fun those kids must have had.  If you attended a barnyard party, what animals would you expect to see?  Name one or two you would be willing to pet. 
  • Safety Pin Day: 10  Have you ever seen a safety pin?  Have you ever used one on your clothing?  What is its purpose?  Have you ever seen jewelry made with safety pins?  You might want to try making some of your own.  Here is a step-by-step process for a safety pin bracelet:  http://www.wikihow.com/Make-a-Bracelet-out-of-Safety-Pins
  • Bicycle Day: 15 What did your first bicycle look like?  What tricks can you do on your bike?  Ask a friend to take a brainstorming contest with you.  Name as many types of bikes as you can in one minute.  What are some jobs that are done on a bicycle? 
  • Ellis Island Family History Day: 17  If you are an American, can you trace the way your family came to the USA?  How would you have liked to come? 
  • National Haiku Poetry Day: 17 Choose a nature topic for April.  Write a three-lined haiku poem of 5 syllables, 7 syllables, and 5 syllables.  I’ll share one of mine if you will. 
  • Movie Theatre Day: 23  Do you love to go to the movies?  Who takes you?  How often do you go?  Name a movie you have seen several times.  Why did you agree to watch it so often?
  • World Penguin Day: 25  Have you ever seen a penguin?  Where were you? Was he taller or shorter than you
  • International Dance Day: 29  Is there an international folk festival in the area where you live?  What country’s dance would you like to learn? What dance costume would you like to wear?  What country could your family represent?  How can you find out? Describe that country’s flag.
  • International Guide Dogs Day: 29  Name a time and place you saw a guide dog or  a service dog.  What should you remember when you approach a service dog?  Do you know anyone who trains these animals?  Research to learn more. 
  • World Wish Day: 29  Name three wishes you would make for the world.  Why these?
  • Zipper Day: 29  When did clothing first use zippers?  Name something you own with multiple zippers.  A backpack, a purse, a suitcase, etc.  Do you know how to fix a zipper that gets stuck?  Can you sew zippers in clothing?  If so, you’d probably be called a seamstress.  What name can you make up that seems more appropriate for those who sew zippers? 
  • National Honesty Day: 30  “Honesty is the best policy.” Read Being Frank for a funny look on honesty.  It’s written by Donna W. Earnhardt and illustrated by Andrea Castellani.  http://www.flashlightpress.com/Being_Frank.html

  • Poem In Your Pocket Day: 30  Do you have a favorite poem you could carry in your pocket on this day?  Who is the poet?  How did you find out about him/her?  Share one of your own poems with others. Special Weeks in April: 
  • National Robotics Week: 4-12  Where have you seen robotics at work?  Where did you learn about this?  If you could create your own personal robot, what chores would you program it to do?
  • Explore Your Career Options: 5-11  What grade do you select a career path in your school? What career do you plan to follow?  Have you ever observed someone in this line of work?  What skills are needed?  How many years of education? 
  • National Blue Ribbon Week:  5-11  In Fair Cow by Leslie  Helakoski, Petunia the pig, a blue ribbon winner at the fair, tries to coach Effie the cow so she can be a winner too.  A fun read. 

  • National Library Week: 12-18   The library has a calendar full of free fun events for people of all ages.  What programs will you attend this month? 
  • National Park Week: 18-26  This fall, all 4th graders in the US will receive a one-year free pass for families to the US National Parks.  The program is called “Every Kid in a Park.”  Now that’s a great gift! See here:  http://www.nationalparks.org/ook/every-kid-in-a-park
  • National Playground Safety Week: 20-24  Have you ever found a loose bolt on a piece of playground equipment?  Have you ever torn your clothes on a piece of equipment?  Who services the playground equipment in your area?  Do volunteers help keep the grounds clean?  What can you do?

April is…

  • Celebrate Diversity Month  Let’s celebrate how we are alike and how we’re different.  How can we do that? 
  • Child Abuse Prevention Month  Every child should have a safe home environment.  Some do not.  Why? 
  • Frog Month  My husband loves frogs and he has an April birthday.  Good reason to spotlight him.  He has frogs that are stuffed animals, ceramic, and metal.  Frogs can be found throughout our house.  Who has a special collection at your house?  Do you?  What is it?
  • Jazz Appreciation Month–I’m taking a workshop this month called “Picture Books and All that Jazz.”  Does the word “jazz” in the  workshop title mean the same as “Jazz” here?  What is the difference, if any?  What is Jazz appreciation?  What does that mean? 
  • Keep America Beautiful  Lately, I’ve noticed more and more paid workers picking up litter along the roadsides.  What can be done to build up community pride to keep America beautiful? 
  • Month of the Military Child  Do you know a child with a parent in the military?  How many times has this child moved in his/her life?  Why do you think there is a month to celebrate the Military Child?
  • National Kite Month  Which would you rather ride:  a kite, a hot air balloon or a magic carpet?  Have you ever flown a kite with a group of people?  On the beach?  in an open field?  On a school yard?  What experiences can you recall  about flying a kite?
  • National Pet Month  Name the type pets you’ve had.  Which was your favorite?  Which one got in the most trouble?  What did he do?
  • National Poetry Month  What is your favorite type of poem?  Do you like poems that rhyme better than ones that don’t.  What could you write a poem about today?  Any special reason?  Write another poem tomorrow, and the next day, and perhaps  the next.  I have a friend who posts a poem every day on her blog.  Please visit Joy Acey who writes “Poetry for Kids Joy.”  See here:  http://poetryforkidsjoy.blogspot.com/2015/03/having-fun.html

For more ways to celebrate this month, see here:  http://www.brownielocks.com/april.html Thanks for visiting.  Come again soon and bring a friend.  Children 13 years old or older may leave a comment. Read more about the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act. (COPPA) See: http://www.coppa.org/coppa.htm

Posted in Calendar Events, Homeschool Activities, Monthly Activities, Reading, Writing, Writing Prompts | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments »

April Inspired a Poem

Posted by lindamartinandersen on March 31, 2014

“April Inspired a Poem…” by Linda Martin Andersen

A Writer's Playground Fotosearch_u17996074 “A Writer’s Playground”–A place to find wordplay, writing, and monthly calendar activities for kids and those young at heart.

Just for fun…Choose a month.  I chose April, which is National Poetry Month.  List the sequence of months that follow and let that inspire a poem.  Here’s mine:

April, May, June, July–

Decided to make an apple pie.

Baked, cooled, and sampled it.

Naughty me–didn’t share a bit.

Sharing about some favorite blogs…

  • Recently, I subscribed to a poet’s weekly blog post.  Amy Ludwig VanDerwater’s blog is called The Poem Farm.  Visit her blog here:   


  • When I was a child, my grandfather used to say that if the first words spoken in a new month were, “Rabbit, rabbit, rabbit,” you would have good luck.  Occasionally, I remembered.   When I read Tim Livingston’s recent post entitled “Forestry Friday…Otter, Otter, Otter,” the title’s repetition reminded me of the rabbit superstition.  Perhaps saying otter three times will bring you good luck or fun, fun, fun.  Tim’s blog is definitely, a fun site to visit.


  • Another recent favorite is Mary Livingston’s blog.  She’s Tim’s wife.  See her terrific spring art here: 


  • To read more about saying “rabbit,” check out these sites: 




April brings…

Confederate History Month 

Jazz Appreciation Month

Keep America Beautiful 

Month of the Young Child

Math Awareness Month –Here are two math poems:

It’s Pi Day  http://www.poemfarm.amylv.com/2014/03/its-pi-day-celebrate-314159.html


Month of the Military Child 

National Child Abuse Prevention Month National

Card and Letter Writing Month

 National Grilled Cheese Sandwich Month  As a child, this was one of my favorite things served in the school cafeteria.  What is one of your favorite dishes?

National Garden Month 

National Humor Month

National Kite Month  Have you ever flown a kite?  If not,  I hope you won’t let April slip past without trying it.

National Poetry Month   Enjoy Joy Acey’s reading of one of her poems:  “How Tall is the Boy?”  http://www.nowaterriver.com/portfolio/poetry-videos/

Straw Hat Month Describe your favorite hat and tell where you like to wear it.

Stress Awareness Month


Special Weeks in April…

Golden Rule Week: 1-7  Can you quote the golden rule?  What helps you keep it?

Bat Appreciation Week: 6-12 (First Full Week)

 National Library Week: 13-19 (2nd full week)

National Park Week: 19-27  How many can you name?  How many have you visited?

Bedbug Awareness Week: 20-26

Coin Week: 20-26 ( 3rd  Full Week) 

International Whistlers Week: 20-26  Check out music by Phyllis Heil, my favorite whistler.  http://www.thewhistlingwoman.com/

National Playground Safety Week: 21-25 

Special Days in April…

April Fools  or All Fools Day: 1

National Fun Day: 1  

National Peanut Butter and Jelly Day: 2 What flavor jelly do you like with your peanut butter?  Do you ever eat honey instead? 

Find A Rainbow Day: 3  I know where to see a rainbow any day.  Check Laura Renegar’s blog:  My Side of the Rainbow.  http://laurarenegar.blogspot.com/2014/03/a-pitmad-victory-winters-hibernation.html#comment-form

Pony Express Day: 3

Weed Out Hate: Sow The Seeds of Greatness Day: 3

“Sorry Charlie” Day: 6

Winston Churchill Day: 9 

D.E.A.R. Day (aka Drop Everything And Read): 12 What are you reading now?

National Dolphin Day: 14

Jackie Robinson Day: 15

Ellis Island Family History Day: 17

National Haiku Poetry Day: 17   Included here in memory of Maureen Wartski, a dear, departed friend who wrote haiku poetry and shared it with her readers:  http://maureenwartski.wordpress.com

Poem In Your Pocket Day: 17

 Earth Day: 22

Eeyore’s Birthday Day: 26  Do you know who Eeyore is?  Where does he live?  Name two of his friends.  Which one are you most like?  Why?  

Richter Scale Day: 26  What does this scale measure?  Why is it important?

Save The Frogs Day: 26  My husband loves frogs.  Do you?  Why do you think there is a day for saving the frogs?  Research to learn more.

Holocaust Remembrance Day: 27  What have you read that tells of this period in history?

Bugs Bunny Day: 30

*Thank you Brownie Locks.com for celebration information.  For more, check out: http://www.brownielocks.com/april.html

Let’s talk:  Choose one or more of the conversation starters above and leave a comment.  Thank you for visiting “A Writer’s Playground.”  Please come again soon.  Bring a friend.

Children 13 years old or older may leave a comment–Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act. (COPPA) See:  http://www.coppa.org/coppa.htm

Copyright © 2014 Linda Martin Andersen

Posted in Careers, Character Traits, Games, Interviews, Math, Monthly Activities, Reading, Science, Social Studies, Uncategorized, Writing | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments »

February–XXOO or XOXO and the Winner of a Giveaway

Posted by lindamartinandersen on February 1, 2014

“February–XXOO or XOXO and the Winner of a Giveaway…” by Linda Martin Andersen

A Writer's Playground Fotosearch_u17996074 “A Writer’s Playground”–A place to find wordplay, writing, and monthly calendar activities for kids and those young at heart.

Announcing the Winner of Imagine That!:  Imagery Stories and Activities by Janis Silverman…

Congratulations, Diane Mentzer.  Please email your address to landersen74@yahoo.com.  Thanks to all who participated.

Think:  What does the word “February” bring to mind?  XXOO, XOXO, blowing kisses, Valentine’s cards, candy, and flowers, Cupid, Ground Hog Day, spring or winter weather, hearts,  lace, red, pink, chocolate, and love.  

Microsoft Clipart

Microsoft Clipart

Help me with this…

If X= Kiss and O=Hug–

What is XXOO?  Kiss, Kiss, Hug, Hug?

What is XOXO?   Kiss, Hug, Kiss, Hug?

Which do you write–XXOO or XOXO?  Do you say it’s hugs and kisses or kisses and hugs?

Which of these special dates deserve hugs and kisses or kisses and hugs?  Give them an “O.”  Give them an “X.” Give them XXOO or XOXO.  Share your favorites.  Tell why.

Microsoft Clipart

Microsoft Clipart

Special Days in February…
Ice Cream For Breakfast Day: 1
Robinson Crusoe Day: 1
Take Your Child To The Library Day: 1 (First Saturday)
Groundhog Day: 2
Hedgehog Day: 2
Super Bowl XLVIII: 2
Popcorn Day: 2
World Play Your Ukulele Day: 2
World Wetlands Day: 2
Weatherman’s [Weatherperson’s] Day: 5
Western Monarch Day: 5
Ballet Day: 7
Boy Scout Anniversary Day: 8
National Stop Bullying Day: 9
Read in the Bathtub Day: 9
Don’t Cry Over Spilled Milk Day: 11
Get Out Your Guitar Day: 11
Make A Friend’s Day: 11
National Shut-in Visitation Day: 11
Extraterrestrial Visitor Day: 11  (2nd Tuesday)
Lincoln’s Birthday: 12
Paul Bunyan Day: 12 (Born Feb. 12, 1834 in Bangor, ME)
Ferris Wheel Day: 14
Frederick Douglass Day: 14
National Donor Day: 14
Valentines Day: 14

My Way Day: 17
Presidents Day: 17
Cow Milked While Flying In An Airplane Day: 18
Single Tasking Day: 19
Love Your Pet Day: 20
International Tongue Twister Day: 22
George Washington’s Birthday: 22
National Cupcake Day (Canada): 24
National Tooth Fairy Day: 28

Microsoft Clipart

Microsoft Clipart

Special Weeks in February…

Children’s Authors & Illustrators Week: 2-8 (First Full Week)
International Networking Week: 3-7
International Friendship Week: 3-7
National School Counseling Week: 3-7
Winter Olympics: 7-16
Random Acts of Kindness Week: 9-15
                                               Great Backyard Bird Count: 14-17

Microsoft Clipart

Microsoft Clipart

February brings…

American Heart Month

Bake for Family Fun Month

International Boost Self-Esteem Month

International Expect Success Month

Library Lovers Month

Love The Bus Month

National Bird Feeding Month

National Black History Month

National Children’s Dental Health Month

National Haiku Writing Month

Youth Leadership Month

Microsoft Clipart

Microsoft Clipart

*Thank you Brownie Locks.com for February celebration information.  For more, check out: http://www.brownielocks.com/february.html

Let’s talk:  Choose one or more of the conversation starters above and leave a comment.  Thank you for visiting “A Writer’s Playground.”  Please come again soon.  Bring a friend.

I appreciate any children who visit this site, but if you are 14 or under, do not leave a comment. It’s against the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act. (COPPA)  See:  http://www.coppa.org/coppa.htm  Perhaps an adult would comment for you.

Copyright © 2014 Linda Martin Andersen

Posted in Careers, Character Traits, Games, Interviews, Math, Monthly Activities, Reading, Science, Social Studies, Uncategorized, Writing | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments »

Haiku for You

Posted by lindamartinandersen on December 22, 2013

“Haiku for You” by Linda Martin Andersen

A Writer's Playground Fotosearch_u17996074  Welcome to “A Writer’s Playground”–A place to find wordplay, writing, and monthly calendar activities for kids and those young at heart.

On my December 1 blog post, I made these comments about National Haiku Poetry Day:  National Haiku Poetry Day:  22 What is a haiku poem?  What is the formula?  Where can you find this information?  Now that you know how write a haiku, pick a winter topic and write one of your own.

I love haiku poetry and so I invited some of my favorite haiku poets to discuss this art form, share their work, and inspire you to write your own.

It is my pleasure to present three guest poets.  Please join me in welcoming … Maureen Wartski, Joy Acey, and Robyn Black.  

Maureen will introduce us to the history and form of haiku, followed by haiku poetry about winter or Christmas.

Guest #1:  Maureen Wartski

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Have you suddenly stopped  whatever you were doing because you saw or felt something that caught your attention and made you suddenly aware ? That awareness is  a ‘haiku moment,’ an instant when you want to somehow express your perception and share it with others. For example, a simple observation written by the great Basho many years ago allows us to feel and understand what the poet saw so many years ago:

 First snow


On the half-finished bridge.


Haiku has its roots in Japan’s Heian period (700-1100) when a knowledge and appreciation of Chinese poetry was de rigeur in high society. Eventually, a poetic form called the tanka, a 5-7-5 triplet followed by a seven syllable couplet, took hold.  Nobles who sat around viewing cherry blossoms while drinking sake elaborated on the tanka, but by the mid sixteenth century ordinary folk developed a ‘peasant’ poetry that was truly Japanese. Called haikai, this ‘peasant’ poem consisted of a beginning triplet called hokku followed by a linked poem. Eventually in the 17th  century, Basho shed the linked poem. The hokku, which needed a seasonal word and an ‘aha’ moment at the end became known as an independent poem called haiku.  

I have always enjoyed reading and writing haiku. When I was a little girl in Japan, I used to put together (very bad) haiku in my head. Later, I continued to enjoy the  sparse and elegant form of this poetic form. Short, quick, sometimes surprising, haiku goes to the heart of any experience. It paints a picture, offers an observation. And often the triplet of 5-7-5—or, occasionally 7-7-5 syllables stays in the heart or the mind for a long, long time.

As for the season word needed in a haiku, they needn’t be complicated. For winter, this can be as simple as ‘cold, cool, north wind, snow, sleet, etc. ’ or delve deeper with ‘withered garden, cough, frozen butterfly, holly berry, etc.’  I’ve used a lot of season words because I have been writing a haiku a day for some time, culling them at the end of the year into a work called ‘A Year of Haiku’. Here are a couple of winter poems from Volume Three, Echoes.

 Here are poems by Maureen Wartski:

Frostbitten flowers

Curl their petals inward

Guarding memories.


Maybe up for rent…

Abandoned bird’s nest on that branch

Is covered with snow.


And the last one of the year, written on New Year’s Eve:

The year is ending

Memories of hours past

Are gentle echoes.

I invite you to visit Maureen’s blog where she shares life experiences through conversation, haiku, and art quilts.  Lovely!



 Guest #2:  Joy Acey


Since I will be in Kauai, Hawaii  for the holiday–

Cook Island pine trees

swish with tropical breezes

Mele Kalikimaka

The Cook Island pines are about the only pine tree one will see in the
islands.  They were brought to Hawaii when Captain Cook came to the
islands.  They are tall and quick growing.  Since the Captain sailed on
masted ships, it was thought the Cook Island pine would work for mast
replacement if the main mast got broken in a storm. In the last line,
the Hawaiian “Merry Christmas” is more than 5 syllables, but it is the
perfect way to end this haiku, so I bent the rules.

But I do live in the desert, so Christmas means artificial trees. (Live
trees have a hard time withstanding our heat.  They drop their needles
too quickly.)

stacking tumbleweeds

three high to spray with white paint

making a snowman


round sweet naval orange

hangs heavily in the toe

of your Christmas sock


collected pennies

gone from the glass Mason jar

a happy Christmas

Every day, Joy Acey posts a poem for children at http://www.poetryforkidsjoy.blogspot.com/2013/12/smile.html It is one of my favorite places to visit.  She encourages children to write poetry too.  Joy shares a variety of poems.  Some are haiku.

Guest #3:  Robyn Hood Black

Robyn Black--Haiku poet

In a recent blog post, Robyn hosted Haiku Society of America President, David G. Lanouse.  He shared poems by Issa, haiku poet of Japanese tradition.  http://www.robynhoodblack.com/blog.htm?post=938974


with butterflies

the dead tree.



Robyn shares some of her haiku below:

winter moon

branch lines crisscross

the grass

©Robyn Hood Black


winter chill

turkey vultures circling

one of their own

©Robyn Hood Black, The Heron’s Nest, June 2012


winter rain

the fine print

smaller each year

©Robyn Hood Black, Chrysanthemum, April 2012

I met Robyn at a poetry workshop for writers that she organized.  Thanks to Robyn, I have a poetic license, along with everyone else who attended.  How fun!

For more about Robyn, check these links.  http://www.robynhoodblack.com  Haiku Page Link:  http://www.robynhoodblack.com/haiku_113533.htm  Blog Link http://www.robynhoodblack.com/blog.htm (Check for a series completed on Dec. 20 called “We Haiku Here,” featuring speakers from the recent Haiku Society of America Southeast Region conference):  Twitter:  @artsyletters  Art blog:  artsyletters.com  Etsy store features her original gifts for readers and writers & “literary art with a vintage vibe”: https://www.etsy.com/shop/artsyletters

Maureen, Joy, and Robyn, thank you being guests here today and for sharing your poems. Happy National Haiku Poetry Day.  Thanks for making this day very special.  

Please leave a comment about one or more of the haiku poems above or share one of your own.  Thank you for visiting “A Writer’s Playground.”  Please come again soon.  Bring a friend.

I appreciate any children who visit this site, but you must be 14 or older to leave a comment according to Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act. (COPPA)  See:  http://www.coppa.org/coppa.htm  Perhaps an adult would comment for you.

Copyright © 2013 Linda Martin Andersen


Posted in Careers, Character Traits, Games, Interviews, Math, Monthly Activities, Reading, Science, Social Studies, Uncategorized, Writing | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments »

Don’t Let April Showers Rain on Your Parade

Posted by lindamartinandersen on March 31, 2013

“Don’t Let April Showers Rain on Your Parade” by Linda Martin Andersen

“A Writer’s Playground”

A place to find wordplay, writing, and monthly calendar activities for kids and those young at heart.

Think:  What does the word “April” bring to mind? Expressions like:  “April showers bring May flowers,” or “Don’t rain on my parade?”  What does this mean? 

Other things we remember in April include:  April Fool’s jokes. Rain showers.  Puddles.  Umbrellas.  Galoshes.  Check the list below for far more things to celebrate in April.

Special Days in April:

Oh my, have you heard? 

  • April 3 is Pony Express Day and on that day the Pony Express replaces postal delivery. 
  • April 29 is Save the Frogs Day.  Sign up now to adopt a frog and save it from the frying pan.

APRIL FOOL!  These two events are true celebrations, but the way I stated that it would be celebrated is all a big fat fib.  Did I fool you?  Probably not.  Who have you fooled today?  Tell how.  As you may have guessed, April Fool’s Day is a favorite.  Create an original joke of your own.  What common ones have you heard? 

  • International Children’s Book Day:  2  Read a book about another country, a child from another country, a dog breed that contains a town or country such as:  Boston Pug, Chinese Pug, German Shepherd, etc. 
  • Metric System Day:  7  Work some math problems and answer using metric measurements.  Did you know that hospital patients are weighed in bed?  Can you convert measurements to metric?
  • National Sibling Day:  10  If you have a sibling, make a card for this person and  tell how he/she is special to you.
  • Safety Pin Day:  10  Where do you see them?  Who gives them away?  How have you used one?  What craft projects have you made using safety pins?
  • Scrabble Day:  13  Have you ever played?  Will you play today?
  • Blah! Blah! Blah! Day:  17  When was this first said?  Why?  What does it mean to you?  It always reminds me of the intercom on the Peanuts cartoon programs. 
  • Ellis Island Family History Day:  17.  Does your family have anyone who entered America through Ellis Island?  Ask to hear stories.
  •  National Haiku Poetry Day:  17  Research how to write a haiku.  Write one about spring, April, or something celebrated this month.
  • Poem in Your Pocket Day:  18  Do you have a favorite poem?  Copy it and carry it in your pocket.  Ask your friends to do the same.  Share poems when you see each other. 
  • Movie Theatre Day:  23  What’s a favorite movie memory? 
  • Richter Scale Day:  26.  Research this scale.  What does it measure.  Tell of a famous disaster measured by the Richter Scale.
  • Babe Ruth:  27.  Do you know this name?  Why is he famous?
  • Zipper Day:  29  When were zippers invented?  Who is Jughead and what does he wear zipped?  What do you own that zips?  Read My Last Best Friend by Julie Bowe and learn how zippers can become a story character. 

Special Weeks in April:

  • Golden Rule Week:  1-7  What is the Golden Rule?  What does it mean?  What books talk about this theme?
  • International Whistlers Week:  17-21  I hope you’ll take time to read an earlier blog post about Phyllis Heil at  https://lindamartinandersen.wordpress.com/2012/06/08/a-writers-playground-welcomes-phyllis-heil-the-whistling-woman-and-offers-a-cd-giveaway/  The giveaway is no longer available, but Phyllis plans to be at this year’s festival.
  • National Volunteer Week:  21-27.  Name a volunteer you know.  What type volunteer work would you like to do?  Walk dogs at the kennel, pick up roadside trash, help in the food bank, etc.  Ask your parents if you can try it.  Perhaps a parent would volunteer with you.
  • National Playground Safety Week:  21-27  Is the playground equipment inspected regularly in your area?  How do you know?  Do you know anyone who has been hurt on the playground?  Was it a safety issue?
  • National Dance Week:  26–5/4  Are you a dancer?  Survey your friends to learn who has taken dance class. 

April is…

  • National Child Abuse Prevention Month  What can be done to help prevent child abuse?
  • Jazz Appreciation Month  Do you have a favorite jazz musician?  Do you listen to jazz?  Research to learn more about the history of jazz.  Fine a picture book about jazz.
  • Keep America Beautiful  An old promotion poster read:  Give a hoot, don’t pollute.  What message would you like to promote about this topic?
  • National Kite Month  What is your favorite kite design?  Fly one this month if you can.
  • School Library Media Month  Give a cheer for school librarians!

*Thank you Brownie Locks.com for April celebration information.  For more April observances check out:  http://www.brownielocks.com/april.html

Thank you for visiting “A Writer’s Playground.” Please come again soon.  Bring a friend. 

Coming soon:  Pat Strobel, a School Librarian, shares about School Library Media Month.

Copyright © 2013 Linda Martin Andersen

Posted in Calendar Events, Careers, Character Traits, Games, Interviews, Math, Monthly Activities, Reading, Science, Social Studies, Uncategorized, Writing | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 15 Comments »

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