Simple starts : The Bomb

So called because the ideas explode, this game shows how a description and then a poem can build. It is best played on a good sized surface, though individual players will find A4 adequate.

Players are first asked to provide a noun - boy, cat, car, etc., and then a verb, and a noun of place. The basic phrase can then be developed by the addition of qualifying adjectives and adverbs.

This first sentence is followed (or preceded) by another, constructed in the same manner. Each line can be a self-contained unit that says something new, though more experienced players will be more adventurous.

In this way the poem can be developed through questions of how and why, writing up and expanding each chosen suggestion, selecting language with the players.

For example:

1.   NOUN - a boy   2.   VERB - walking   3.   NOUN (of place) - street

could become first

and then

It seems best to start in the centre of the writing surface and make additions around, under and above, using balloons and arrows.
The "mess" of ideas can then be tidied when the poem is well developed, written again below the original, and then the process can be resumed, improving for example the structure, rhythm or ending, with this new draft.
It will help the finished work if the possiblities of rhyme and alliteration are pointed out when appropriate. The drafting process can also discuss the line-breaks and order of lines.

If the players are old enough (for this game can be played by non-writers) they are then asked to create their own work using the same procedure, to encourage a more flexible approach to drafting and develop a self- questioning process for thinking about written work.

For further information on similar games click on any listed under SIMPLE STARTS in the INDEX side bar.

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Windows Workshops Dave Calder, The Windows Project ,1997,1998,1999,2009