Poetry Basics For Moms
You’re the mom aspiring to coax and nurture a love of words, rhyme, and verse in your children. But you’re feeling overwhelmed and don’t know where to start. You know you should be teaching poetry and wish your kids would just get with the program beyond crafting haiku. Why aren’t they falling in love with the rhythm, rhyme and meter? Shouldn’t this be natural and easy?
How did you learn about poetry as a child? Was it reading, round robin style, in your classroom from the basal reader of your district’s choosing? On the rug during reading time? Do you remember analyzing poetry in high school English classes? While these are valid ways to teach the forms of poetry, they may not be the best way to inspire a love of it. Want to ratchet up the inspiration in your homeschool with poetry? You may, like me, need help to review poetry basics and gather inspiration you can pass along to your kiddos.
A Search for Resources that Inspire
I went in search of some resources to cultivate my new interest in poetry when I started to hear about Julie Bogart’s idea of Poetry Teatimes. When she was homeschooling, she decided to entice her children into a love of poetry by pairing poems with tea and treats. I wanted to educate myself beyond just sharing verse with my kids and that search led me to a couple of great sources to aid you in understanding poetry.
I just wanted to know more about poetry. I needed the poetry basics. I wanted to know how to read it out loud. I wanted to get a feel for how poets write. I wanted to understand what makes one poem stand out to me more than another. I wanted to know if there was a formula to writing poems or if it is better just go with the flow. I wanted to figure out what I don’t know about poetry. It was merely a quest for insight and I hope you find some in these recommendations, too.
Check Out What I Found
Poetry Matters by Ralph Fletcher A book written to children, leading them through gathering images and instances captured in a writer’s notebook that may later be turned into a poem. Fletcher uses many real life student examples and encourages aspiring poets to write from their heart. A great read aloud to share with your kids.
A Child’s Introduction to Poetry This book is a collection of poems and includes a CD. It is fun to hear professional actors read poetry. A wide selection of well-known poets including Emily Dickinson, Ogden Nash, Shakespeare and Walt Witman are introduced as well as all types of poetry, and why certain poems stand out as memorable. The text is jam packed with facts.
Signing School by Robert Pinsky This is an anthology of selected poems collected by a former Poet Laureate and a poetry editor at Slate. I really appreciate how the poems are not deconstructed or torn apart by analysis but rather the reader is invited to enjoy the words, tumble them around, and take them in. This is meant to offer a little bit of instruction on poetry but offer more inspiration to adults than anything else.
Project 180 I use this list during copywork; while my daughter works on her passage, I copy down the poems from this list into my scatterbook.
Poems to Learn by Heart NPR interview with Caroline Kennedy about her love of poetry and poetry collection for children.
And–so, so exciting! A fantastic resource is launching for you tomorrow! March 29th, go check out Poetry Teatime! My hope is these inspired poetry basics will help you increase your confidence and love of poetry so you can pass that on to your children.