Activities and inspiration for home or your classroom!
Put Poetry on your Agenda
Poetry enables parents and teachers to teach their children and students how to write, read, and understand just about any text. It also allows for a healthy outlet for emotions.
Every word in a poem is well-chosen, and therefore, there's nothing better than reading them aloud. Reading them with a theatric flair can get everyone's attention, so make sure you know your poems before sharing them with your child or your class. Don't oversupply them with material, but ask questions such as, "How do you think the poet feels?" or "What does that make you think of?" after a poem. Especially with ages 8 and older, poetry in the class works best when students are given the chance to take part.
For younger children, having visual aids and related activities to the poems can greatly enhance teaching poetry.
First Things First
When bringing poetry into the home or classroom, the most important thing is to work with poems that will amuse and engage the children. Be realistic of your children's attention span. Introducing them to poems in a fun or delightful way can ensure curiosity and a positive attitude about poetry for years to come!
Teaching unit based on my book
Shimmer, Songs of Night
To get your students or children motivated, surprise them with a word bank!
Sometimes on my class visits, I come armed with a bucketful of words written down on little folded bits of paper. The children choose one and then use that word as the focus or subject of the poem that they will try writing.
Start by using words based on my book: whisper, taxi, beehive, fairy, sonata, violin, popcorn, sunflower, detective, sandman, cheer, opossum, and candle. Depending on the age group, I come up with a variety of subjects for the children's to write about. I've even had success when some children trade their word with others if they feel feel stuck.