In creating this ultimate guide to poetry for multiple ages, I’ve recalled my own lack of experience in teaching poetry. Unlike other areas of language arts, poetry can be intimidating to teach. Taking the abstract to concrete, associating images with thoughts, limited experiences of child and teacher to appreciate figurative language, and comprehending the difference between imagery and metaphor are just a few of the elements that caused me to delay teaching poetry.
Crippled with my lack of education in understanding the language of poetry, I used prepared lesson plans to teach it in the early years of homeschooling. Gaining momentum in the middle and high school years to move away from laid out resources and learn alongside my sons, I learned that poetry is similar to my love of reading; it’s more about the experience of reader to language than identifying all the poetry elements.
Like living books, poetry has to be appreciated first for the ability to move a reader.
Rhythm and meter are art forms of poetry. And choosing the right words, a pause or space in between stanzas, and giving life to soulless objects are ways that a skillful poet evokes thoughts, feelings and imagination.
Releasing the Inner Bard
Poetry is now one of my essentials in a reading program.
Although it may seem strange to an avid writer or reader, one point I appreciate more now is that a person is not obligated to share the joy of reading, writing or an emotional connection with a poem. It can be intrinsic and the reader can possess an inner satisfaction without feeling compelled to tout all of his life’s experiences, positive or negative to the whole world.
Personal views and intimate thoughts about poetry can stay as an inner secret. Or if you want to join the great conversation of the world, a poem can pull you and others into discussing feelings, thoughts and experiences.
Like discussing a great book, agreeing with another person or not when discussing poetry isn’t the point. It’s about the power of moving you to think beyond your own life’s experiences or predetermined cultural values and expressing yourself with profound meaning.
Conversations with others, like reading words painted by a poet, are educational, entertaining, and expand our understanding of them. And reading poetry is like conversations with ones you love, like your children. It’s about speaking the right words in the correct order.
It’s taken me almost my whole journey of homeschooling to grasp those two very different views I can take to poetry. I hope it won’t take you that long to look beyond teaching the elements of poetry and peer into the hidden power of poetry.
Poetry Needs to Be Read Outloud
In this ultimate guide to poetry for multiple ages (for the intimidated), I hope to give you a starting point in reading and writing poetry.
Encourage your children to write poetry. Even the simplest word from their heart is rich with meaning and it is the stepping stone to creative writing. Encourage your children to read poetry outloud. They’ll love the option of keeping an inner secret or delighting others by publicly expressing their emotions through picture words.
General Lesson Plans, Teacher Guides, and Unit Studies
Printable Poetry Resources
Homeschooling Poetry Tips
Poetry Crafts and Hands-On Activities
Poetry Books for Homeschoolers
|100 Best Loved Poems by Philip Smith|
Out of Wonder: Poems Celebrating Poets by Kwame Alexander
Poetry Speaks of Who I Am: Poems of Discovery, Inspiration, Independence, and Everything Else by Elise Paschen
Poetry Matters: Writing a Poem From the Inside Out by Ralph Fletcher
|The Random House Book of Poetry for Children by Jack Prelutsky|
Here’s a Little Poem: A Very First Book of Poetry by Jane Yolen
Where the Sidewalk Ends: Poems and Drawings by Shel Silverstein
Are you interested in more of my Ultimate Guides? Of course you are.
Read Lewis and Clark Expedition – The Ultimate Guide, Ultimate Guide to Learning Activities in a Jar or Bottle, The Ultimate Guide for New Homeschoolers and The Unrivaled Guide to Civil War Activities for Kids.
Hugs and love ya,
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