Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Poetry and Kids, Part Two

In a previous post, I talked about the joy of reading poetry with children, from simple nursery rhymes to modern works of humor. What's even better than reading poetry? Writing it! Once kids are able to recognize poetry, they'll want to try their own.

Here are two haiku that my daughter Emma, 5, wrote a couple of weeks ago:

stars and moon shine bright
at bedtime they twinkle smiles
to help me sleep tight

red leaves fall from the
trees, yellow leaves following,
orange leaves floating

The Scholastic website offers many wonderful resources, including their Writing with Writers workshops for kids. In the Poetry section, kids can read or listen to poems and get step by step instruction from published writers. There's even a poetry idea engine to help kids get started by offering word choices for creating haiku, cinquain, and limericks.

Poetry4Kids offers contests, lessons, games, poems, and a rhyming dictionary, all geared toward kids.

abcteach provides printouts on poetic devices and forms, including metaphors, alliteration, rhyme, acrostic poems, haiku, cinquain, abecederian, and others. They offer a brief definition, example(s), and space for kids to write their own poems or images.

For older kids and adults, The Academy of American poets is an invaluable resource of both essays on poetic forms and a wide variety of poems.

If you have a kid, take the time to read a poem, or two, or three, together. Roll the words around in your mouths, let the sounds jumble up and crash around you. Feel the texture of the lines in your fingers. And then, grab a pencil and a piece of paper and listen to what your child has to say. You might be surprised to hear him or her speaking in poetry.


Buter said...

Very, very nice Sharon. I love it when children write poetry or prose, or both. Great info. We'll visit the places.

SarahJane said...

Hi Sharon -
Nice visiting you here!
I like your daughter's haiku, and admire your taking the time to guide your daughter in poetry.
I have kids, too, and have read them poetry often. I've never tried to get them to write anything, although my daughter sometimes writes weird prose poems. I don't think she knows they're prose poems... but I find them to be.
I'll be checking out the websites you recommend.
best, sarah

Sharon Hurlbut said...

Daphne - children can be so much more uninhibited than adults, can't they? That's what makes them wonderfully original writers. Thanks for coming to visit.

Sharon Hurlbut said...

Hey Sarah! My daughter sees me writing (a lot) and wants to join in, so I thought a little guidance would be helpful. She's really taken to it. She also loves reading poems out loud. Maybe she's got a future at open mike night?! Thanks for dropping by.

Patry Francis said...

Emma's haiku are wonderful. I hope you'll share more as she writes them.

Sharon Hurlbut said...

Thanks Patry! Her free verse poems are really fun - very surreal in subject, yet make perfect sense. Of course, she's so absorbed in Christmas now that she can hardly think of anything else.

Anonymous said...

That is wonderful stuff!

Sharon Hurlbut said...

Thanks Hamel! Good to see you here.