Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Poetry to Treasure

I love poetry. I always have. Yet,somehow, sharing poetry with my children is not as simple as I thought it would be.
My best experience teaching poetry to my children was when we studied Lullabye by Eve Merriam. You can read this poem here.

We read the poem and then made purple playdough. If you need recipes for playdough you can see my post with tons of recipes here. You might try using grape flavored kool-aide if your child doesn't have allergies.

We also made purple the "color of the day". We read Harold and the Purple Crayon and cooked egg plant for dinner.

We did these activities on July 19th, which was Eve Merriam's Birthday. It was also a good time to be outside and hunt for purple objects in nature.

I understand that poetry study is a subject included in most Charlotte Mason home schools. To be honest, my home school is floundering on this topic. So far, we have completed two semesters attempting the Ambelside poetry list. My kids just seem bored. The poetry is odd language to them and the words are sometimes mispronounced to make a rhyme. They just don't seem to understand it.

It's hard not to include fun, child-friendly poetry that I read and loved as a child, poetry that would surely be considered twaddle by some. One of my favorite modern children's poet is Sara Holbrook. I especially love her poem titled The Storm That Was. I would not consider her poetry to be twaddle. I find it genuine and insightful. I think she gives tremendous respect to childhood feelings and presents them in an honest and often humorous light.

Frankly,I don't really understand the term twaddle. As a writer myself I struggle with the concept that some books are viewed as garbage. That thought makes me very sad. Of course, I wouldn't read (or benefit from) every book out there today, but I believe there are gems from our decade that can achieve beautiful learning and evoke great poetic images for our children. I hate to skim over them just because they aren't "classic".

So here is your part to jump in. I'm throwing these questions out to my readers. What is your favorite poet? Can you think of a poetry lesson that was extremely meaningful, productive, or just plain fun? Do you include modern poetry in your lessons? How do you define the worth of poetry? Do you cringe at the word "twaddle" too?

If you're up to the challenge please consider blogging about your experiences or feelings from my list of questions above. Be sure to link back here. Then come back to this post and sign my McLinky Blog Hop so that everyone can visit and read your post. It will be fun to bounce around and hear other's opinions on this topic. I look forward to reading yours.

MckLinky Blog Hop


  1. Well, my post is up, but it's the first time I've done a McLinky so am not sure I did that properly. LOL!

  2. A lot of the AO poetry is funny- once you understand the references. Children at the time the poetry (from AO's booklist) was written would have gotten it immediately- for instance they would not have had to have the concept of who or what "nurse" was explained to them.

    We love Ogden Nash's "Zoo", Shel Silverstein and Karla Kuskin among others.


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