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Tips for Teaching Children Poetry in a Fun & Engaging Way + Giveaway

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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!Tips for Teaching Children Poetry in a Fun & Engaging Way

*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.

Tips for Teaching Children Poetry in a Fun & Engaging Way

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

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.

  1. 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!
  2. 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.
  3. 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!
  4. Find a favorite book on poetry, my kids enjoyed anything by Shel Silverstein for example, and read together!
  5. 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.
  6. 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!
  7. 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!


Giveaway for American Girl Doll Gabriela McBride

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Want to make poetry fun for kids? Here's why you should teach your children poetry and 7 practical ways you can help your children have fun learning poetry! Plus there's a giveaway for Girl of the Year 2017, Gabriela McBride!

SimplifyLiveLove is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.

About Michelle

Michelle Marine is the author of How to Raise Chickens for Meat, a long time green living enthusiast and rural Iowa mom of four. An avid traveler, Michelle has lived on three different continents and has driven all four kids across the entire USA (by herself!). She loves sharing farm-to-table recipes, their family travel adventures, and gardening and homesteading tips on her popular lifestyle blog, SimplifyLiveLove.com.


  1. blankEricT says

    My Daughter’s been asking for an American girl doll for a while and I do love poetry. It’s not aimed for young kids but my favorite book about writing poetry is ‘The ode less traveled’ by Stephen Fry. Worth checking out from your local library if they have it.

  2. blankmami2jcn says

    I’d like to win her because my daughter would love an American Girl doll. She would also enjoy the book that comes along with the doll.

  3. blankelizabeth tierce-miller says

    I want to win her for my daugher because she loves American Girl dolls and I love that they stand for strength in girls.

  4. blankAnne Lehnick says

    My daughter loves everything about American Girl. She loves the books, the dolls, the movies, the activity kits, and accessories. She got a baby last year for Christmas which she loves dearly, but she’s about to turn 7 and getting more into dolls of older girls and Barbie dolls rather than baby dolls. She would adore this doll.

  5. blankMary Gardner says

    I would like to win this because my granddaughter enjoys American Dolls more than any others she has and is so excited about the Gabriela doll!

  6. blankTaryn T says

    I want to win because my daughter loves American Girl Dolls, and has been wanting Gabriela! I love Gabriela’s story, and that she encourages girls to write!

  7. blankKathryn C says

    this would be the perfect gift for my niece as she very much loves American Girl dolls and her mom told me that she doesn’t have this one yet!

    Kathryn C

  8. blankangela smith says

    My daughter has been asking for a american girl for awhile now . It’s not in our budget so this would be awesome

  9. blankBobbie Smith says

    I would like to win this for my granddaughter. Not only would she love to have her (she doesn’t have any American Girl Dolls, but I do get the magazine, for her to look through) but I love what American Girl does by wanting to empower them, and to teach them. I think the company is a just wonderful!

  10. blankAllyson Tice says

    I want to win Gabby for my daughter! She has been wanting a American girl doll forever and Gabby is a perfect fit for her!

  11. blankChristina London says

    Poetry and American girl doll is a perfect combo. I love that they include poetry in the dolls. I think it’s so important to have that. I would love my daughter to start writing poetry.

  12. blankLissa Crane says

    I would love to win Gabriela McBride for my little daughter who has always wanted an American Girl doll!! Since this one looks more like her than some of the others, it would be the perfect choice for her!

  13. blankLinda Trinklein says

    I would love to win, and give to my daughter, she loves american girl dolls. Love teaching children poetry, such a great thing! Thanks for the chance to win!

  14. blankMarty says

    I’d like to win it for my daughter. It’s tough to find dolls that look like real girls and not scary glamour mannequins (e.g. Bratz, Barbies…) and finding Black girl dolls is even tougher. I love that these dolls come with stories that present ways girls can be creative and strong.

  15. blankHeaven Kelough says

    I would love to win this for my niece! She would love it. She has yet to have one of these dolls. Thank you so much for the awesome chance to win.

  16. blankAnnmarie W. says

    She is absolutely beautiful! And I know my niece would love to welcome her into her room and make her her new companion!

  17. blankMechele Johnson says

    I would love to win because my daughter Maybelle would love it! We get the catalog and she will look through it over and over again, until it literally falls apart. We have never been able to financially justify getting one yet though 🙁

  18. blankKathy Davis says

    I want to win Gabriela for my granddaughter who can’t wait for the new American Girl Doll catalog to come so she can wish away. I would love for her to stop wishing and start playing. Thanks, Kathy

  19. blankCarolsue says

    I would like to win her for my little neighbor whose family is going through some very hard times. She loves dolls and this would be wonderful to give to her.

  20. blankLisa says

    I would like to give a beautiful African girl this doll. I will send it via Operation Christmas Child–all my boxes always end up in Africa (I’ve sent over 100) I would send an extra large box for this.

  21. blankDonna Kellogg says

    I would love to win this for my Granddaughter I that it would inspire her. Every little role model helps i an young girls life.

  22. blankAshley Taylor says

    I would love to win this for my 6 year old daughter. She loves dolls. I love how the American Girl dolls tell a story of positive role models.

  23. blankNicole Lancaster says

    I want to win the Gabriela McBride doll because I like the story behind the doll and my daughter really wants this doll.

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