April is National Poetry Month! I would always get excited when I received my National Poetry Month Poster in the mail. (You can go to their website and email them for a free poster for your classroom). I loved putting it up in my room and then awaiting the eager little voices of “what’s that?” Then I could pull out my favorite books of poetry and start introducing some of my favorites.
Children Love Poetry "One parent told me their child wanted to sleep with his poem after they had read it before bed."
I had a group of older two year old’s who were just fascinated with poetry! We would read one or two poems a week at group times. They got to know these poems so well, they began requesting certain ones. I had a group of boys who were very into Star Wars and dragon slaying (I believe from watching How to Train a Dragon), so I pulled out Lewis Carrol’s The Jabberwocky and they loved it! The children loved watching me read the silly words and hearing about a magical creature. They took this poem and its contents and began acting it out in their play. It was so neat to watch.
I had another group of children really enjoy Shel Silversteins poetry. I knew a few poems by heart and they seemed to be intrigued that I could recite such a thing as Ickle Me, Pickle Me, Tickle Me too. There were poems I thought for sure they would love and all I would get would be blank stares or distraction. There were other poems that certain children seemed they couldn’t get enough of. You have to be willing to try all different types of poetry out on your group of children.
On National Poem in Your Pocket Day, I printed out a special poem for each child and gave them that poem to put in their pocket in the morning during group time. These are two and three year olds mind you so I wasn’t expecting much, but it turned out these young children were so touched by poetry, many of them held onto that poem all day long and then brought it with them the following day and the next day. One parent told me their child wanted to sleep with his poem after they had read it before bed.
After these experiences with poetry and young children, I can tell you, no one is too young for poetry. What are you planning on doing for poetry month?
Poetry Month Ideas
- A fantastic idea for a “Poetree” http://www.sturdyforcommonthings.com/2012/04/poetry-is-fun/
- Scholastic has a Poetry list by age http://www.scholastic.com/teachers/article/poetry-month-booklist
- Poets.org has a fun poetry map where you can click on the state you live in and find out what poetry events are happening in your area http://www.poets.org/page.php/prmID/382
- Poetry Foundation has some great stuff for children http://www.poetryfoundation.org/children/