Poetry Activities with Children

The following post is from Angie of Many Little Blessings:

poetry notebook
source: Jimmie

While poetry can be a wonderful addition to your language arts and reading studies all year long, April is especially perfect since it is National Poetry Month.

If you’re not sure where to start with poetry, one of these activities might be a perfect addition to your day.

Tea Time with Poetry

As described on the Brave Writer website, you and your children can have a special tea time and share favorite poems with each other while enjoying tea and baked goodies. This can become a treasured time to just slow down, enjoy poetry, and have some special time together.

Highly Structured Poetry

No matter what kids try to lead you to believe, they generally love structure. Poems with a lot of structure and rules may help reluctant young poets feel more comfortable writing.

Some common examples to use with children are:

  • Diamante – These are diamond-shaped poems with a very specific number of words per line as well as rules about the words’ parts of speech. For more information on these rules, read about how to write a diamante poem.
  • Haiku – A favorite of school children, these poems are often traditionally about nature.  These three line poems feature five syllables on the first line, seven syllables on the second line, and five syllables on the third line.
  • Acrostic – In acrostic poems, the writer picks a word, such as “Spring,” and writes it vertically along the page. They then write a word or a sentence after each letter that starts with that letter. For example, with SPRING, a child might have their first line be, “Shady clouds bring lots of rain.”

Dramatic Readings

My children all enjoyed when I picked an Edgar Allan Poe poem to read aloud dramatically. In fact, they were so caught up in it that they wanted to each have a turn to try it too.  My children may easily come by arguing about who gets to do something first, but it is not often that it involves reading a poem. My enthusiasm made all the difference.

Humorous Poems

Children and adults alike enjoy a little bit of levity. Sharing humorous poems can be a way to show children that poetry can be fun. Don’t limit yourself to only poems written for children. Two poems that I find most amusing are William Carlos Williams’ This is Just to Say, which can also be a fabulous springboard for children to try to write their own similar poem, and the haiku “Haikus are easy / But sometimes they don’t make sense / Refrigerator,” which also just begs children to come up with their own humorous haiku.

What is your favorite poem?

Angie, a domestically-challenged writer and artist, is a homeschooling mom to three children. She writes about everything that happens in their lives between all the loads of laundry at Many Little Blessings. She is also the founder of The Homeschool Classroom, Catholic Mothers Online, and Just a Tiny Owl.