Poetry River Craft

Here is a simple poetry river craft that I made for the newest Issue of LMNOP Magazine, which is all about books. We’ve been enjoying the book, A River of Words, which is a brilliant introduction to the poet William Carlos Williams. This book contains many of his wonderful poems and talks about beautiful things that are part of everyday life. So the kids and I cut out a river with paper, then wrote some favorite words, memories, and activities, and had fun creating our own river of words. You can rearrange the pieces of paper to make a variety of different phrases. If your kids are in the mood to play with words, then give it a try!

Another fun variation could be a poetry mobile, similar to this Mobile of Thanks.

To learn about many other beautiful books, and see more on this craft, check out the new issue of LMNOP.


  1. July 5, 2011 at 2:15 pm

    This is beautiful Joel! I love the way it introduces poetry to kids... encourages such imagination. I would have done this endlessly as a kid... all I did was make up songs and poems. :) An inspiring post as always!

  2. July 6, 2011 at 7:10 am

    This is amazing, you are such an inspiration : ) .

  3. July 6, 2011 at 11:55 am

    Your little boy appears to be growing up. :) I'm sure his twin sister is too, but it's less apparent. Also, her dress fabric looks like something you might have designed. You didn't, did you? :)

    1. July 6, 2011 at 9:31 pm

      Thanks everyone! Hey r8chel - Yeah, he does look older in this photo for sure. ha. Also, I did not design that fabric, but it's right up my alley! Very cool, simple flower design.

  4. July 12, 2011 at 6:45 am

    I may just try this one but was thinking of using it with my middle school bible class and allowing them to create their river of prayers. Thanks for the ideas. Love your blog and drawings. Nikki

  5. July 21, 2011 at 1:43 am

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  6. July 22, 2011 at 10:02 am

    [...] who works here knows that one of my favorite sites is Made by Joel, so I had a hard time just picking one project of his to show off here, but I fell in love with [...]

  7. Samantha
    September 19, 2011 at 8:19 pm

    I wanted to ask if you know of Pinterest? It would be nice to have a link to post ideas there. Its a great way for me to keep track of the ideas or projects I want to try out, and keep them all organized.

  8. November 24, 2011 at 5:59 am

    we are spanish teachers from Mallorca and we love your special art. We usually work with poetry and worked on a BRITISH COUNCIL poetry initiative called Give us back our Planet to integrate Poetry and Environment Protection. If you need a pilot school for any projects dont hesitate to contact us!

    1. November 30, 2011 at 7:41 pm

      Very cool! Thanks!!

  9. May 26, 2012 at 4:54 am

    [...] from Kristina of Toddler Approved. –Photo Bookmarks from Laura at Come Together Kids. –River of Words from Joel at Made By [...]

  10. October 13, 2013 at 9:53 am

    [...] Un modo del tutto “visivo” e “tattile” per giocare con le parole di una poesia lo propone il sito Made by Joel. [...]

  11. Kathleen Spring
    June 2, 2014 at 1:41 pm

    thanks for this great idea. I just happened upon your page when I was looking for poems about rivers. I am doing a summer camp in my small town of Lyons, and we recently had a major flood (2013) that devastated our town, making much of it unlivable for months. I wanted to "acknowledge" that it happened, but didnt want to do something "scary". This will be perfect ! I will look up that book too, and try to get a copy to take to the class. (I work at the history museum, and preserving history is a priority here.) thanks!

    1. June 2, 2014 at 6:49 pm

      Hi Kathleen. Wow, thanks for writing. You're really doing amazing work. I'm really glad you found this craft and that it's helpful!

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