Everyone knows what two plus two is, but what about apple plus tooth? Or grass plus sunlight? Or dog minus squirrel? What is the square root of a pineapple? What is 2/3rds of happiness? What is cell phone times hippopotamus?
Approximately 56.7% of helping kids love writing is loosening them up, letting them know that writing is a place for their wild wackiness — and for their wonder and vastness. If you add math and poetry and subtract the possibility of wrong answers, you get awesomeness. The structure of the math problem can give uncertain writers a scaffolding to work with as well, turning it more into a game than a Poem with It’s Nose in the Air.
Writing a math poem
You can put a new math problem in each line, or spend a long time thinking about one. Don't put any numbers in your poem. Instead, try doing math with other kinds of things -- even ideas or verbs. You can give the answers too if you want to, like in this collaborative poem from my very first year of Frog Hollow, where crazy math plus poetry equals (you guessed it) awesomeness!
Things Plus Things Equals More Things
Blue + red = purple
Mammoth + eyeball = hairy eyeball….
Hair + shower drain = rat
Smartwool + hiking boots = sweat
40,000 people + one person = 40,001 people
Raw wool + fuzzy yarn = itchy socks
Mom's knitting needles + yarn = giving up hope
Carrots + a basket = a basket full of carrots
Guinea pigs + food = chirping