Teaching children poetry is very important for social and emotional learning but can be intimidating for parents. If you’re wondering why to teach children poetry and looking for tips to teach poetry, this post is for you! There’s also an exciting giveaway for American Girl® Doll Gabriela McBride at the end!
*This post is sponsored by American Girl®. All opinions are mine.*
Tips for Teaching Children Poetry in a Fun & Engaging Way
Poetry, according to William Butler Yeats, “is blood, imagination, intellect running together…It bids us to touch and taste and hear and see the world, and shrink from all that is of the brain only.”
American Doll Girl of the Year 2017 Gabriela McBride has spent 2017 encouraging girls around the world to tell their stories through poetry. 2017 might just go down in the history books as the year of empowerment as more and more people are speaking up and taking risks. I have been so impressed with American Girl’s mission to empower girls that I’m dedicating an entire blog post to help you teach you own kids poetry and empower them at the same time!
This post is Day 5 of my 12 Days of holiday Giveaways! Find all the giveaways here.
We have long been fans of American Girl. Each of my daughters gets a trip to the American Girl store in Chicago sometime around their 8th birthday. The picture above was our first trip to the American Girl store on New Years Day in 2013 when my eldest daughter turned 8!! Over the years, I used many American Girl materials in our home school. We’re no longer homeschooling, but my girls still love their American Girl books and dolls because they are always inspired by what they read.
Why teach children poetry
Poetry teaches children a variety of life lessons – from helping them express their ideas, to empowerment, to building community and fostering understanding and much more. Elena Aguilar’s essay on poetry at Edutopia is a must read! She says poetry is the most kinesthetic type of literature. Even boys can become passionate about poetry when we teach rhythm and rhyme. Poetry also gives students a way to express themselves without worrying about grammar and helps them use metaphors and imagery in creative ways.
That said, poetry is often intimidating. Do you remember learning about poetry when you were in school? I know I got so caught up in trying to figure out the meaning that I was not able to enjoy the words! Fortunately, there are enjoyable ways to learn about poetry too.
Tips for teaching children poetry
Teaching children poetry doesn’t have to be hard or intimidating! Here are a few easy ways you can encourage your kids to learn poetry.
- Write silly little poems to your children and encourage them to write you back. You can even put love poems in their lunch boxes! Or take turns adding lines to poems and see what you end up with!
- Have a poem memorization contest. We love the literature ideas shared at Mensa. My kids can still recite poems they memorized following Mensa’s recommendations.
- Have a Slam Poetry contest at home. In Slam Poetry, each person writes their own lyrical poem and then performs it in front of an audience. The concept came about in the 1980s with Open Mic contests. Slam Poetry’s goal is to make poetry less stuffy and more accessible! While it often features adult and sometimes controversial topics, your family Slam Poetry contest certainly doesn’t have to!
- Find a favorite book on poetry, my kids enjoyed anything by Shel Silverstein for example, and read together!
- Check out the amazing resources that American Girl and Scholastic put together to encourage learning about poetry specifically for 3rd-5th grades. With classroom resources, printable worksheets, and fun educational videos, you will find a lot of useful information and tips on teaching poetry to kids here! You’ll find Poetry is My Power here.
- Read the book series Gabriela (Girl of the Year 2017) by Teresa E Harris and learn how Gabriela overcame her struggles with stuttering to become empowered and confident!
- Whatever you do, just be a good role model and encourage your children to be creative! Use the video below to find inspiration and watch the other American Girl videos about poetry with your kids!
Giveaway for American Girl Doll Gabriela McBride
I’m very excited to offer one lucky reader the Gabriela McBride doll! This contest is open to US residents 18 years of age and older. Please enter via the Rafflecopter form below. Winner will be notified via email and will have 48 hours to reply. Good luck!