If you haven’t come across them before calligrams are a great and simple way to get children thinking about being creative with words. Put simply, the letters of a calligram, when written down, illustrate in a fun way the meaning or interpretation of the original word. I often use this as a starter activity with children in KS2 and am constantly astounded at how accomplished many children are at producing original and stunning calligrams in a short time.
Start your lesson by showing some fun examples such as the ones above, lots more can be found with a simple search on Google. Before you let your children have a go, try modelling a few so that they can see how you need to go through the process of choosing a suitable word in the first place, verbs I find are a good way to start.
The following is a worksheet that I sometimes use to get the ball rolling.
After a short activity such as this, I often find that children are in a much more creative frame of mind and thus prepared to embark on more ambitious forms of poetry.