- Have children choose a poem that resonates with them.Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images
Have children write a favorite poem on a piece of paper and tuck it into their pocket. Throughout the day, encourage students to share each others' poems. At the end of class, the students will read their poems aloud and discuss why they like it. Or, create a homework assignment where students research poems and choose one they can relate to. A baseball player might choose a poem about a ball, for example. When the teacher reads the poems to the class, the students try to match the poem to the child.
- Create a hat to accompany a poem.Jupiterimages/BananaStock/Getty Images
Reading poetry aloud enables children to hear fluctuating tones that help convey the poem's message. Have students choose a poem and memorize it over time. At home, they create a hat depicting something in their poem. On the day of the poetry reading, each child will wear the hat they created. Or, invite parents to the classroom to listen as the students all participate in a long, entertaining poem, such as Shel Silverstein's "Sick," about a child who fakes sick until he realizes it is Saturday. Every child has a verse of two, depending on how large the class is.
- Observing and writing help children make new connections.Jupiterimages/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images
Use poetry to help a reluctant writer find her voice. Whether a child is struggling in school or has issues in her home life, writing poetry helps make sense of feelings. Have children keep a poetry journal and, in the beginning of every day, ask them to write a short poem about what is on their minds. Or invite children to choose an object in the classroom, like a pencil sharpener, and ask them to observe the object and write a poem. This helps children become more sophisticated thinkers by seeing something common in a different perspective.
Poetry in All Subjects
- Use poetry to grasp all academic subjects.Jupiterimages/Goodshoot/Getty Images
Encourage children to use poetry in all academic subjects. Math, for example, is better understood with riddles and rhyming when children are trying to understand and recognize math patterns. Or, use computer class to create a poetry slide show, where computer artwork and drawings correspond with verses in a poem. In addition, children can practice English by personifying nouns and verbs through poetry.
Art and Poetry
- Cut out words to create an original poem that is interesting to look at.Hemera Technologies/PhotoObjects.net/Getty Images
Creating a poetry bag or booklet is a way to get children to meld fine arts, reading and writing. Take a child's name, for example, write it vertically on a paper bag and have him write a poem using the letters. Young students can color a picture after the teacher reads a poem aloud. Or, instruct students to create a collage poem by cutting out phrases and words from magazines and cereal boxes and then gluing them on a poster board to share with the class. Students will find humor in combining words and phrases to create a new meaning.