So this week, I’m offering inspiration to get your children’s creative juices flowing.
Let’s Write Math Poetry
What better way to celebrate than writing math poetry?
- Write a poem about a math concept or idea, using your favorite style of verse.
- Or write a poem about any subject, using a mathematical constraint.
- Or both: write a poem about math, constrained by math.
Here are some examples…
You could try pi-ku, a haiku-like poem where each line has syllables matching one of the digits of pi. For a six-line pi-ku, arrange your thoughts in a 3–1–4–1–5–9 pattern.
Thoughts into words
Create something new,
Exploring numbers, shapes, and patterns.
Speaking of Tau Day, here’s a ditty I wrote a few years back:
So if working in radians you hate,
(How can pi-fourths be really pie-eighth?)
Make your life simpler now
By just switching to tau
equals six point two eight three one eight…
Haiku or Senryu
Or write a standard haiku, with lines of 5-7-5 syllables, usually highlighting some feature of nature. Senryu is haiku’s snarky cousin, following the same pattern but with a twist of dark humor.
How much ice cream in
Five triple-dip fudge sundaes?
Getting fat with math.
A “Fib” is a Fibonacci poem invented by Greg Pincus. It’s based on syllable count, like a haiku, but the lines follow the Fibonacci counting series: 1-1-2-3-5-8… Each number is the sum of the previous two numbers.
The Story Problem
Read it through.
What is it asking?
How can you use the things you know
To figure out the mystery of the great unknown?
A Fib poem can run as many lines as you like, or until it grows too unwieldy.
Breaking away from our focus on counting syllables, a square poem is a word array. It has the same number of words in each line as there are lines in the poem.
Once when famine struck the land —
No rain, no hope of harvest —
The youngest princess launched her quest.
She sought the fabled magic chessboard
That double, double, double, doubles rice.
Enough for all her starving people.
For longer works, a cubic poem has the same number of stanzas, as each stanza has lines, as each line has words. Or try a hypercube poem with chapters of stanzas of lines of words.
+ Tiny drops of sunshine
Try to think of clear, vivid words that create a picture in your reader’s mind.
What Will Your Child Create?
Please share! I look forward to reading your child’s poetic mathematical creations.
And be sure to fill out the submission form so we can post them in the Student Math Makers Gallery.
CREDITS: Feature photo (top) by Trust “Tru” Katsande via Unsplash.com.