Sunday, January 10, 2010

Poetry Revisited

"Painting is poetry that is seen rather than felt, and poetry is painting that is felt rather than seen." -Leonardo da Vinci

Recently, in a previous post, I discussed my struggles with teaching poetry. Since then I have done a bit of study and found some resources that I thought I'd share here.

1. Printable poetry would be good to place on the refrigerator or on display somewhere that children can see and read it.

2. I also found more printable poetry broken down into topic categories like Animals, Colors, Earth Science, Family, etc. I really like what this site offers. Their list of bird poetry is long and wonderful. I'll be visiting this site a lot during our bird studies. Many of the poems would make excellent copywork.

3. If you're looking for an idea of what to read to your child you can check out this great list of classic children's poetry to read online.

4. The Poetry Foundation offers tons of information and educational resources to promote the art of poetry. Currently they feature a really cute video of Laureate Mary Ann Hoberman reading her works and chatting to kids about poetry and rhyme.

5. Lit2Go has a great collection of poems and stories. The poetry often has activity sheets to go with the poetry. Here is a link to a simple little poem that we recently enjoyed.

As part of my research and study I also read Parents' Review Articles titled An Address on the Teaching of Poetry and The Teaching of Poetry to Children.

In An Address on the Teaching Poetry by Rev. H.C Beeching it is explained that poetry has the ability to tap our memory, enhance our ability to describe with beauty and clarity, and sharpen our scientific observation skills. The article discusses the emotional impact of poetry and it's ability to waken our mind and train it for deeper feeling. The author advises parents to use quality poetry that is "delightful" to read and also to choose poetry that considers the age of the reader. The article presents that good poetry should leave children with joy, expanded and trained emotional understanding, and the skill of applying the imagination through words.

The Teaching of Poetry to Children by Mrs. J.G. Simpson stated that a love for poetry begins in childhood. It stresses the importance of making poetry worth reading and learning, not wasting the child's ability to memorize by giving the meaningless poetry that doesn't engage the imagination and instead raises the bar of what they can enjoy. The article insists that a child can be trained to love beautiful poetry that we might think is beyond their understanding. It urges parents to choose great examples of poetry rather than silly senseless rhymes that lack meaning. It goes on to say that one of the best tools for teaching our children to love poetry is by letting them see our own love for poetry. The article is loaded full of great links that are definitely worth checking out.

My children and I are now enjoying poetry from A Child's Garden of Verse and working on being better acquainted with the art of poetry. Dover makes a coloring book version that I want to purchase to incorporate with our poetry readings.

My children were so excited when we began our poetry lesson. They really didn't view it as a lesson (or "school" at all). In fact when their friends came over later that day, they announced that all they had to do for school was math and writing. When I mentioned poetry they said "yeah but that was cool". Ah ha! The joy of poetry.

Happy Learning!

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