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Are you looking for some poems kids like? Read on for some very simple tips for finding the best poetry books for kids, plus a few poetry activities that will engage even your most resistant reader!
We didn’t always love poetry in our house. Around age 4 my oldest child, a thoughtful little boy was completely focused on dinosaurs. He loved them.
Every book we read, every movie we watched. Dinosaurs. This kid knew more about dinosaurs at age three than I ever desired to…
This made bedtime a real challenge. He didn’t want to read bedtime stories with cartoon characters sweetly saying goodnight. He wanted me to read the dinosaur encyclopedia. Ugh!
It’s difficult to get a focused and determined child to open up. But he eventually did. What helped broaden his interests was using poetry to pique his curiosity.
How to Find Poems Kids Like
Many times, we use silly and funny, fantastic poetry for children. That’s great, if it’s what your kid is into. But what if it’s not?
What if your child, like mine, prefers cold, hard, scientific facts to literature?
What if your kiddo doesn’t enjoy the same goofy, silly poems you loved as a child? How do you find poems your kid will like?
There are so many benefits to reading poetry with children. I want to incorporate poetry into our homeschool lessons in an engaging and positive way.
I reconsidered how I was approaching poetry and what poems I was introducing. Now as we enter second-ish grade, poetry has become a big part of our homeschool – one of the most enjoyable parts!
I’m excited to share some tips for choosing the right kind of poems for your child.
- Big Concepts at a Young Age
- Choose Short Kids Poems
- Find Poems on Topics Your Kids Like
- Make Poetry Time Fun
Sponsored post: I received these books free of charge to share my honest opinion plus compensation for my time.
Big Concepts at a Young Age
If the funny, silly poetry didn’t work for my son. What did?
We started with Haiku.
Haiku, as you probably learned in elementary school, is an ancient style of Japanese poetry characterized by the 5-7-5 syllable pattern. More importantly, haiku is about observation.
In a haiku, the poet is observing and examining a moment in time. This was a great place to start for my science-minded guy. But at first, it seems like a big concept to grasp.
Don’t be afraid to teach the Big Concepts of haiku. Break it down so that your child understands:
“Haiku is about a single moment in time. It’s like you pressed pause on life and wrote a poem about what you saw, what you felt, what you smelled, what you heard – just for that split second in time.”
Find haiku about experiences, places, and things that are familiar to your child. This will help them understand the single-moment observations that are at the core of haiku.
|The Hound Dog's Haiku|
and Other Poems for Dog Lovers
|The Maine Coon's Haiku|
and Other Poems for Cat Lovers
|The Horse's Haiku|
|Michael J. Rosen brings us sweet and serene observations of our beloved animals. A wonderful introduction to poetry and haiku for any animal lover. Choose your child's favorite animal and study them for a fleeting moment in time.
Each book has a different illustrator and all are lovely, whimsical, and a fabulous start to your poetry collection.
Related>>> Guide to Teaching Haiku +Printable Worksheet
Choose Short Kids Poems
Another reason I love starting with haiku is that it is short. Short poems will keep your child’s attention.
One of the first assignments my son had in first grade was to memorize a poem. It was a long one. In fact, it was so long that he didn’t even let me get to the end of it.
He complained that it was too long and too boring. And you know what? I think he was right. Poetry is subjective, so he couldn’t be wrong…
I wasn’t ready to give up on poetry. I needed an alternative to long, “boring” poems beyond haiku.
One poetry book written for kids that we loved was Firefly July: A Year of Very Short Poems. It is a selection of 36 super short poems that you will love going back to again and again over the year.
Lesson learned: If they say the poem is too long and boring, it is. There is so much amazing poetry in the world to explore. You don’t have to force it.
Related Product: Seasonal Poetry Frames – Printable
Find Poems about Topics Your Kid Enjoys
My four-year-old dinosaur lover is now seven. His interests have changed. My way of keeping lessons and learning engaging is to build units around his what he enjoys.
You can find poetry to match any interest.
If your kid is passionate about a subject – whether it is animals, humor, or even the human body, there’s a poem out there that they will love!
This year my son’s passions turned to history. So much so that we worked on two history curricula at the same time! One day middle ages, the next ancient history!
So when he got his hands on The Death of the Hat: A Brief History of Poetry in 50 Objects, he didn’t want to put it down!
This collection of poetry will allow your child to travel through time and see the world through the eyes of a poet. Observe 50 items, from a bookworm to a wheelbarrow to a birthday card with poems dating back to the early middle ages.
Make Poetry Fun
When you start digging into those big concepts with little poems about topics your child loves, there is only one thing left to do: have fun with poetry!
There are many ways to make reading poetry special. We loved having a weekly poetry teatime and will continue to read and enjoy poetry this way – only with lemonade because we discovered that none of my kids really like tea…
What I’m really excited about is beginning to incorporate more writing poetry into our lesson plans.
The reason I’m excited is because I’m going to use this amazing book called Jabberwalking as the guide to our poetry writing next year.
Poet Laureate, Juan Felipe Herrera, put together an incredible guide to writing poetry that is a true work of art. Herrera encourages us to write and speak and scribble and draw on the move!
Jabberwalkers are poets in motion!
Jabberwalking gives us a unique view at the process of being a poet – where usually we only see the product.
If you have a resistant reader, a child who thinks poetry is boring, or one who does not want to sit-down-and-write, this book is for you.
This book says it’s for grades 5 and up, but we are starting early and it would be perfectly suited for a high-schooler (and even might inspire an adult!).
Visit Candlewick Press and save 25% with code CANDLEWICK at checkout!
More about poetry…
Ashley helps parents who want to homeschool find the resources they need to successfully teach their children. Ashley is a former teacher, current homeschooler, published author, and designer behind Circle Time with Miss Fox printables as well as the creator of this website, The Homeschool Resource Room.
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