In school this year my kids and I are listening to a CD of poems read by actors. The CD is a companion to the book 'The Poets' Corner: The One-and-Only Poetry Book for the Whole Family' complied by John Lithgow. Lithgow introduces and explains why he likes each one while different actors read some 50 poems.
You can hear (see) Carol Muske-Duke and John Lithgow reading some from the book:
There is nothing quite like poetry performed, it transfixes. Even my kids love to listen to poetry. Last year we read and listened to poems from the book 'Poetry Speaks to Children'. They loved the pictures and learned some of the poems by heart. I thought that we would be finished reading the book half way through the year, but we read and re-read and re-read the poems all year long, they never got bored of hearing them. It was lovely to see which ones became their favorites. They were a little disappointed when I told them we have a new plan this year. But I think they will like listening to this new CD.
They also did poetry writing last year. We used 'Writing Poetry with Children'. It was fairly simple, a decent introduction to different forms of poetry. I filmed them reading their poems, it was good 'public' speaking practice. Lily was very shy at first, but she gained confidence as the year went on.
This year I plan to wing it. I will have them write whatever inspires them about one of that week's literature books. For example, yesterday the girls and I read 'Blueberries for Sal' (while eating blueberries and cream) and then they did an illustration from the book for drawing practice. Tomorrow, in 'poetry' class I will work with them on writing a poem based on Sal, Little Bear and the blueberries. (I am sure Matthew will write on something different being a boy and older (in soul if not much in age)) We'll see how it goes!