My kids poetry!

The Poetry Foundation has a fun, quick podcast entitled 'How to Raise a Poetry Imp'. It is worth a listen.
Reading poetry to my kids is part of our regular life. I have written about my kids listening to poetry here and about their poetry writing here, and about introducing kids to the arts, including poetry here.

I highly recommend you read some poetry to your kids. 'Poetry Speaks to Children' is THE best book to begin with. My kids ages 4  to almost 10 all love it! We also enjoyed a Robert Louis Stevenson coloring book this year.

We are just finishing our school year. I have been typing up all the kid's poems, between them there were almost 40 finished poems!

Our poetry class consisted of either reading/listening to a 'real' poem and discuss it or using  fine art painting as a prompt and then each of my kids would write a poem on a similar topic. It was fun to see the differences in their ages in how they wrote:

Laura, 6 has written 'poems' that are mainly train of thought narratives:

At the Park
By Laura Cole, age 6

At the park I play and play
Mom says ‘we will have our picnic now’
I have grape juice
My mother brought chips and salsa
I say ‘that is what I want’
She says ‘you can’t just have that’
I have a peanut butter and jelly sandwich

I have a Laffy Taffy treat
I go play on the monkey bars
I climb up on top
I say ‘yipee’

I say to Mom ‘can we go home now’
She says ‘yes’
We go home

I say to mom ‘I’ll just have a little dinner’
I go to bed
I forgot to brush my teeth
I get out of bed and brush my teeth
I go to Mom and say
‘I had a good time at the park’

Lily, 8, has written poems that attempted to mimic the descriptive nature of what we were reading:

The Sun
By Lily Cole, age 8

The sun, gold in the day;
The moon, silver in the night;
The stars twinkle like a dozen little jewels
and they all get together and make day and night.

Annie, 4 has written, well, dictated to me, the most rambling, random, funny 'poems':

Drops and Roses
By Annie Rose, age 4

Drops and roses
smell good
I love when it snows
I like when I eat the
ice off our car

I love flowers that are
pink and purple
Elves are so funny
I love the video*
pine cones and skittles,
M&M’s have chocolate in them
I love honey
roses and foxgloves and bluebonnets,
pen sharpeners and everything pretty
I love Mommy and I have love in my heart
and love inside my body.
* I am assuming she is referring to the movie 'Elf, one of our favorites!

Matthew, who is a very mature 9, wrote about things that are concrete and real and tried to make a point:

The Sun
By Matthew Cole, age 9

It’s destructive solar rays
could blast us out of existence
if they reached us.

If it came an inch closer
we would explode;
an inch away and
we would freeze.

The sun, a blazing juggernaut
The sun, a curse and a gift.

I plan to make a handmade poetry book of their poems, combining photos with each poem. It is a project I will work on slowly over the summer. I think the kids will like having a finished copy of their work in hand, they may feel like they have been 'published'!

I know poetry sounds like something from the dark ages of high school memories, but really if you give it a try there are some great poets and poems available; and kids that are exposed early to poetry don't know it is not cool to read poetry and will have their perspective enriched!!!

Reading poetry together is like sharing the secrets of the universe!

If you have any poetry books that you have found are great for kids, please let me know. I need something new for next year.


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