In addition to my adventures in poetry – I wanted to share some resources for those who are looking to add more poetry into the lives of their children – be if for homeschooling, or personal enjoyment and edification.
#1 Reading Poetry:
Yup – do it. I joke but I am also serious. More importantly – read it aloud! To yourself – to your kids – to the cat. Poetry is constructed to be listened to and heard more than it is written to be read …silently.
Some of my favourite poets (and the kids like them too): Shel Silverstein, A.A. Milne, Dennis Lee, Dr. Seuss, Robert Louis Stevenson, Christine Rossetti, Rudyard Kipling, Edward Lear, Jack Pretutsky
Where to find poetry books: The library is a great place to go for books but I bet you have some Dr. Seuss lying around or some other book full of rhymes and language which seems to dance in your mouth as you read it aloud. Start there …
I love treasuries and anthologies which bring a wide range of poets together but … I do recommend reading just one poet at a time – it helps to get to know their unique way of writing, the lens through which they see the world.
Immersion is good – immersion is fun – try it, try it, everyone!
#2 Listening to Poetry:
I believe your kids will love hearing you read poetry despite any misgivings you have about it. However here are some great resources to help you out if the need should arise:
The Children’s Poetry Archive (British site) – some of our favourites include “Walking with my Iguana”, “The Bone Yard Rap”, anything by Michael Rosen (deep subjects handled via poetry …good stuff)
Shel Silverstein’s “Where the Sidewalk Ends” – available on Spotify, Apple Music, etc
#3 Jumping into Poetry:
DO IT! Don’t wait – dive in – swim out and don’t turn back. You are never too old or too young to begin – every master started as a beginner.
Guyku: by Peter Reynolds (the author of The Dot etc) This site is targeted to capture the imagination and interest of boys (primarily) but “gal” poets are welcome.
If you want more instruction on writing specific poetry forms – Pinterest is your best friend – there are too many sources to pick from but trust me there are plenty of free printables, crafts, activities to keep you busy for months.
Final Words: Our first inclination as children learning to talk is to translate the world into language which communicate our thoughts – I think that is poetry’s very nature. I know I love poetry more than the average person – I am not an expert or a scholar in it – but I do believe that it is found in all of us from our very genesis. Now go find it — 🙂