Teaching Poetry to Children

Teaching Poetry to Children
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Poetic Grammar and Language Study

Materials:

chalk or white board

selected works of poetry.

Preparation:

Select a few short poems that relate to a current topic of study or season, and copy them to the chalkboard. Read the poem with your children, or have them read aloud independently. There are many ways to use the poem for grammatical study. Choose what fits best into your study.

a) identify and discuss how punctuation is used in the poem

b) underline parts of speech nouns/verbs/adjective in each line of the poem

c) identify rhyming words

d) identify rhyme scheme and have children write short poems of their own following the same pattern.

A few seasonal poems you might wish to consider....

'October' by Thomas Bailey Aldrich

October turned my maple's leaves to gold;

The most are gone now; her and there one lingers.

Soon these will slip from out the twig's weak hold,

Like coins between a dying miser's fingers.

'October' by Maurice Sendak

In October,

I'll be host to witches, goblins

and a ghost.

I'll serve them

chicken soup

on toast.

Whoopy once

whoopy twice

whoopy chicken soup

with rice.

'Harvest Home' by Arthur Guiterman

The maples flare among the spruces,

The bursting foxgrape spill its juices,

The gentians lift their sapphire fringes

On roadways rich with golden tinges,

The waddling woodchucks fill their hampers,

The deer mouse runs, the chipmunk scampers.

The squirrels scurry, never stopping,

For all they hear is apples dropping

And walnuts plumping fast and faster;

The bee weighs down the purple aster-

Yes, hive your honey, little hummer,

The woods are wavering, 'Farewell Summer.'

Poetic Patterns

Materials:

beads

linking cubes or any multi colored manipulatives

anychild's rhymes or poems (on paper or chalkboard)

alphabet flashcards

Skills:

fine motor, listening, rhyme identification, poetry skills

Read the poem aloud with your child. Have your child identify rhymes within the poem, underlining rhyming pairs in the same color. Now read the pattern created by the underline colors. For example, in the poem below, 'sing', 'thing', 'Spring', and 'sing' would be one color, while 'December', 'remember', 'September' and 'December' would all be another color. The pattern in 'I Heard a Bird Sing' could be red, blue, red, blue, red, blue, red, blue.

'I Heard a Bird Sing' by Oliver Herford

I heard a bird sing

In the dark of December

A magical thing

And sweet to remember.

'We are nearer to Spring

Than we were in September,'

I heard a bird sing

In the dark of December.

Have your child build this pattern using manipulatives. Next, show the pattern using the alphabet flashcards. Red, blue, red, blue, red, blue, red, blue becomes A, B, A, B, A, B, A, B.

Finally, have your child come up with rhyming words that follow this pattern (or the one in your example), and build a simple poem around this rhyme structure. Have them underline the rhyming words, use manipulatives and alphabet flashcards to represent their rhyme scheme.

About the Author

Catie Hayes is founder/editor of WomanLinks.com, a community of support, spirituality, growth and empowerment for women. She is a freelance writer, the single homeschooling mom of two, and an avid fan of laughter, spontaneous dancing, cats and chocolate (not necessarily in that order).


 

About The Author

Catie Hayes is founder/editor of WomanLinks.com, a community of support, spirituality, growth and empowerment for women. She is a freelance writer, the single homeschooling mom of two, and an avid fan of laughter, spontaneous dancing, cats and chocolate (not necessarily in that order).
 
 

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