Liz’s Weekly Poetry Series: Kids Love Poetry!!!
Dorothea Lasky has a great article titled What Poetry Teaches Us About the Power of Persuasion at The Atlantic. Here’s a snip:
The 60 students waiting patiently to get into one creative writing section at an elite private college where I taught loved writing poetry. The 2 year olds I used to teach over a decade ago in a wealthy day care loved poetry, too. Even in their pre-writing state, they recited poem after poem for me, and I wrote each one down for them to then illustrate. At an underserved elementary school, I read Merwin, Sexton, and Whitman poems out loud, and the 5 year olds in in the class loved to bounce around the rhythms and the sing-songy rhymes, along with the slanted ones. It was the music of poetry that they loved. The music of poetry is a delight for the mind.
A lot of people argue that poetry is “difficult” or that it has no real value for children’s future. That’s just not true. If you think poetry isn’t important to your students, you are not listening to them. You are not noticing the headphones in their ears, blasting poetry to soothe their walk to class. You are not thinking of them in their rooms at night, writing down their experiences. It may be that you are defining poetry too dogmatically.
Great children’s books are pure poetry, and my kids love it. For awhile now my oldest son has been mimicking his dad writing poems by typing strings of letters on my computer, and we practice reciting poems into the microphone mommy makes daddy keep in the garage.
During one of these garage sessions my son was making up titles to his poems. This week’s poetry series is simply two of his titles because, though I’m obviously biased, I think they’re brilliant. Enjoy!
THE SCREAMING NEVER BEGINS
WHERE THE RAILROAD TRACK IS ON THE WALL
—William Skink’s 4 year old son