Fun & Easy Ways to Expose Kids to Poetry

Fun & Easy Ways to Expose Kids to Poetry

National Poetry Month is a celebration of poetry introduced in 1996 and organized by the Academy of American Poets as a way to increase awareness and appreciation of poetry in the United States.

Fun & Easy Ways to Expose Kids to Poetry

I’m not great about exposing my kids to poetry so this is my easy way for April’s National Poetry Month. I’m just going to have my kids watch this wonderful 2.5 minute video.

Easy and Fun Video to Expose Kids to Poetry

From filmmakers Enrique Serrano and Ricardo Serrano, this is The Door, a poem by Czech poet and immunologist Miroslav Holub.

Go and open the door. Maybe outside there’s a tree, or a wood, a garden, or a magic city.

Go and open the door. Maybe a dog’s rummaging. Maybe you’ll see a face, or an eye, or the picture of a picture.

Go and open the door. If there’s a fog it will clear.

Go and open the door. Even if there’s only the darkness ticking, even if there’s only the hollow wind, even if nothing is there, go and open the door.

At least there’ll be a draught.

 

Poetry Books That All Kids Love

My kids who “don’t like” poetry love Jack Prelutsky and Shel Silverstein. Here are some books my kids recommend to your kids. Shel Silverstein has a free downloadable Poetry Month Resource Event Kit. Jack Prelutsky has free poems, writing activities, and puzzles and games.

Be Glad Your Nose is On Your Face by Jack Prelutsky

A Pizza The Size of the Sun by Jack Prelutsky

The New Kid on the Block by Jack Prelutsky

Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein

Falling Up by Shel Silverstein

 

Diversity in Novels in Verse for Kids

My other sneaky way to get my kids reading poetry is Novels in Verse. Here are 5 amazing diversity novels in verse that I’ve enjoyed recently.

The Crossover by Kwame Alexander

Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson

Silver People by Margarita Engle

Blue Birds by Caroline Starr Rose

Dust of Eden by Mariko Nagai

I have another post on Novel in Verse books for kids, and a YA Novel in Verse list too. My last sneaky poetry idea is to create Spine Poetry using book spines.

How about you? How are you enjoying poetry with your kids? Please share! I could use your ideas!

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Fun & Easy Ways to Expose Kids to Poetry

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By Mia Wenjen, PragmaticMom

15 Comments

  1. A new collection I love is Jule Fogliano’s When Green Becomes Tomatoes–seasonal poems that are just lovely. Poetry is a feast for the senses!! Thanks, Mia!

  2. Hi Mia–Yes, many kids are not thrilled about reading or writing poetry. When I introduced poetry to my students they were reluctant, in fact, in a local newspaper interview (students, teacher, and reporter), they said I was “crazy” for trying it out.

    I read them free-verse poetry for 5 to 10 minutes a few times a week, or whenever I could squeeze it into my schedule. The students were mostly Latino/a and African-American. I used multicultural poetry to introduce and motivate: Chinese, Japanese, Native American, African-American (Langston Hughes, for example), and children’s poets (Harry Behn, Eve Merriam, and yes, Shel Silverstein, and Robert Frost “You Come, Too”).

    I also read lots of haiku, one-after-another, planted seeds in their minds and imaginations for their future writing, because this form of writing is like “flash poetry”: you “see, think, feel, and experience “something,” and compose it in a 5-7-5 “poem.” Haiku appeals to the way kids’ see things, in my opinion, and is a natural way of self-expression for them. And when you think about it, with Twitter and the 140-character tweets, this form of brief expression–17 syllables–is definitely a fit for young people and the way they write. Tons of books out there on the subject and definitely many websites that present how to teach and write it.

    In class lessons, I had many ways to motivate poetry writing: (1) tape 4 pictures from magazines and newspapers (photos, ads, cartoons), photographs, and/or posters with famous (Van Gogh’s “room”) and not-so-famous artwork (20″ x 30″) on the board, (2) brainstorm or “title-storm” potential titles for each picture after briefly describing each), (3) followed by student writing, where the kids (grades 4 to 6) chose a particular title that inspired “poetry ideas” and then constructed mostly free-verse poetry.

    Many of my students’ poems have been published in professional, college, gifted high-school, children’s, and writers’ journals, and these were children who “don’t like” poetry.

  3. The Poetry Friday Anthologies are wonderful for sharing poetry with kids. The Teacher’s edition provides tips for sharing poetry and reinforcing poetic elements in just 5 minutes a day. A Google search of the 115 poets involved will lead to many wonderful poetry books created by some of them-Laura Purdie Salas, Irene Latham, Amy Ludwig VanDerwater…I could go on and on.

    I do have a fun series on my blog called A Great Nephew and a Great Aunt. It features collaboration — a poem and an illustration. I started this with my great nephew but now I invite guests three weeks of the month and my nephew and I collaborate on the second Friday of each month. The majority of the illustrations are created by children. I believe this will draw kids to poetry in a collaborative way. Why not create a poem and art? Two students collaborating? Or an adult and a child? Or a class? Here is a link to the page that has all episodes.

    Don’t miss this episode where poet/teacher Ken Slesarik leads the first graders in his after-school poetry club in a fantastic collaboration.

    Well shucks, Mia. When I tried to submit my comment it said I had too many URLs. I don’t mean to spam but just get excited about sharing poetry with kids. So I’ll email you the URLs for my blog series episodes and for Ken’s episode.

    Thanks for this post!
    Penny Parker Klostermann recently posted…A Great Nephew and a Great Aunt: Landon and PennyMy Profile

  4. I love poetry! Great post! 😀 Ms. Klostermann’s poetry/illustration feature is really fun!
    Erik – TKRB recently posted…Perfect Picture Book Friday! The Bear’s Surprise by Benjamin ChaudMy Profile

  5. These are great idea’s. We love Shel Silverstein. Thanks for sharing with us on Thursday Favorite Things.
    Cheers,
    Jennifer

  6. I’m publishing Penny’s comment that she emailed me because my blog won’t accept links in the comments. Here it is:

    Mia,

    I’m a Pragmatic Mom Blog follower and enjoy your posts. I commented on your blog post “Fun and Easy Ways to Expose Kids to Poetry.” But when it came time to submit, the powers that be told me I had too many links. And I did kind of go wild because I get so excited about sharing poetry with kids. So I thought I’d just email my comment in its entirety.

    The Poetry Friday Anthologies are wonderful for sharing poetry with kids. The Teacher’s edition provides tips for sharing poetry and reinforcing poetic elements in just 5 minutes a day. A Google search of the 115 poets involved will lead to many wonderful poetry books created by some of them-Laura Purdie Salas, Irene Latham, Amy Ludwig VanDerwater…I could go on and on.

    I do have a fun series on my blog called A Great Nephew and a Great Aunt. It features collaboration — a poem and an illustration. I started this with my great nephew but now I invite guests three weeks of the month and my nephew and I collaborate on the second Friday of each month. The majority of the illustrations are created by children. I believe this will draw kids to poetry in a collaborative way. Why not create a poem and art? Two students collaborating? Or an adult and a child? Or a class? Here is a link to the page that has all episodes. http://wp.me/P22d5X-15c

    Don’t miss this episode where poet/teacher Ken Slesarik leads the first graders in his after-school poetry club in a fantastic collaboration. http://wp.me/p22d5X-1yl

    Thanks,
    Penny
    Pragmatic Mom recently posted…Diversity Mystery Books for KidsMy Profile

  7. We love Shel Silverstein! My boys just devour his books we’ll have to try out Jack Prelutsky. We just finished listening to Hate That Cat and checked Love That Dog out of the library for next week. My kids enjoyed these books so much and it was a fun way to sneak in some poetry exposure.
    Mother of 3 recently posted…My Favorite QuotesMy Profile

  8. Oh Mia, I absolutely loved “Where the Sidewalk Ends”, so much so that I had to have a copy for my own kids. I don’t know how many times I checked it our at either our local library or the school one. Definitely a classic! Thanks for always supporting Meandering Mondays and have a great weekend!

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