Playing with Poetry: Hands-On Learning Stations
Our homeschool routine is being transformed by hands-on learning stations. It seems the kids are happier, everyone is engaged in learning, and I'm not as exhausted by the end of the day. Win-win! I'm in the middle of a 31+ day series where I'm sharing hands-on learning station ideas. Last week, I focused on science stations. This week we're moving on to Language Arts. It never seems like I have enough time to fit in poetry.
Poetry offers such sophisticated sentence structure and language, that kids will be blessed with any time they spend reading, memorizing, or writing poetry. Setting up stations for kids to interact with and create poetry gives them experience and enrichment without you leading out all of the time.
You're a Poet and Didn't Know It
It can be really intimidating to think about writing poetry. However there are some fun resources out there to help kids begin writing poetry (or modifying other poems) to help get their feet wet with poetry. Try some of these great free printable worksheets for beginner poets:
- 5 Poetry Styles to Engage Readers and Writers
- Make Nonsense - Jabberwocky Revised
- Write a Limerick
- Writing Cinquain Poems
Sometimes it can be challenging if your students aren't familiar with the parts of speech to fill out one of these fun poems. Give them a reference sheet to help know what kinds of words to pick when they fill in the blanks. Download my handy Parts of Speech Reference Sheet here:
Poetry In, Poetry Out
Andrew Pudewa always says, "You can't get something out of the brain that hasn't first been put there." Well, at least he says something to that effect, but I'm sure it was much more eloquently expressed. Simply put, the best way to get the most out of poetry is to memorize it!
I love the Linguistic Development Through Poetry Memorization by IEW. It leads teachers and students through some beautiful poetry to memorize. Since it comes with an audio CD, for littles you could have a coloring station while you played the poetry in the background. You'd be amazed at how much can get memorized when you just replay it daily.
Older kids can work on poems of their choice to memorize. There are so many wonderful books of poetry for children that you could give them sources to choose from. When you provide them with a rich selection, they can't make a bad choice. Try some of these:
- Where the Sidewalk Ends
- A Child's Garden of Verses and Underwoods (Classic Reprint)
- Now We Are Six (Winnie the Pooh) by A.A. Milne
- The Oxford Illustrated Book of American Children's Poems
- The Random House Book of Poetry for Children
Playing With Poetry
One of the joys of poetry with children is that it doesn't have to be so serious. Play with it, and enjoy watching your children fall in love with the meter and rhyme of poems.
- Create an Opposite Poem - rewrite a poem by replacing specific words that mean the opposite
- Illustrate Your Poem - draw what you imagine when you hear the poem
- Record Your Poem Reading - practice reading a poem out loud, and then record the poem on your phone.
- Create a Poetry Notebook - copy down your favorite poems into a journal to create your own poetry anthology
Celebrate With High Tea
Take a break every now and then to celebrate poetry with your children. Host a Poetry Teatime to read and celebrate the poems that they have composed. Make it a special, memorable event. Your children will be more willing and able to approach poetry later as they read more complex poetry. They'll be just as excited to tackle it as they were when they were six.
What are some of your children's favorite poems?
Check out more hands-on learning stations inspiration in my 31+ Days of Hands-On Learning series! Check out these other language arts stations:
- Magnetic Sentences
- Letter Writing
- Fun With Fairy Tales
- Word Puzzles and Games
- Language Computer Games
Betsy Strauss is an unexpected homeschooler, mother of three, who is in a relationship with a sweet man for life. She loves reading books, drinking coffee, and learning anything with her kids.
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