Encourage Creativity and Imagination through the World of Poetry
From Dr. Seuss to Mother Goose, nursery rhymes are often the first introduction to poetry. Most infants and toddlers are instantly drawn to the rhythm of the words. The repetition of rhymes are not only fun and stimulating for young children, but they are critical to the development of early literacy skills.
As children get older, that same love for rhymes and rhythm can continue to develop through poetry. Did you know that April is National Poetry Month? The celebration was created to highlight the extraordinary legacy and ongoing achievement of American poets and to encourage the reading of poems.
Poetry is a form of expression and opens a new door of creativity through language. Encourage your children to express their creativity this April by exploring the world of poetry.
Types of Poetry. Introduce your children to the many different forms of poetry—haiku, limerick, acrostic and rhyming are just a few. Here are short descriptions to help familiarize your children with the different forms.
– A traditional form of Japanese poetry. Haiku poems consist of 3 lines. The first and last lines of a Haiku have 5 syllables and the middle line has 7 syllables. The lines rarely rhyme.
An old silent pond (5)
From leaf to leaf hops a frog (7)
Looking for a meal (5)
– A limerick is a silly poem with five lines. It is often funny or nonsensical. The first, second and fifth lines rhyme with each other and have the same number of syllables (typically 7 to 10). The third and fourth lines rhyme with each other and have the same number of syllables (typically 5 to 7).
There once was a wonderful star
Who thought she would go very far
Until she fell down
And looked like a clown
She knew she would never go far.
– A form of poetry where the first, last or other letters in a line spell out a particular word or phrase. The most common and simple form of an acrostic poem is where the first letters of each line spell out the word or phrase. This type of poetry is very fun for kids.
Easter is a great time of year
And everyone likes to each chocolate
So make sure you don’t eat too much
Together we can hide
Easter eggs and find them
Remember not to eat too much candy
– There are different kinds of rhyming poems to explore.
Couplets are made up of two lines whose last words rhyme. They are often silly.
My cat ate a mouse
And then brought it in the house.
Triplets are made up of three lines. The rhyming pattern can be AAA or ABA.
What a fine day
To go out to play
In the month of May.
Quatrains are made up of four lines. The rhyming pattern can be AABB or ABAB.
I never saw a purple cow,
I never hope to see one:
But I can tell you, anyhow,
I’d rather see than be one.
Family Poetry Challenge. Now that you’ve introduced your children to different forms of poetry, find out which form they find interesting and encourage them to give it a try. Make it a family activity and share your poems with each other. Having trouble getting started? Here are a couple of ideas to get the creativity flowing.
Brainstorm poem themes and topics. Sometimes it can be difficult to start writing a poem, but remind your children that poems can be about anything. They can be about their family, a dream they had or even something as simple as what they had for dinner.
Creating a rhyming list. One way to start writing poetry is by creating a list of rhyming words on a piece of paper. Using a mixture of rhyming nouns, verbs, and adjectives, your children can create simple sentences that can be used to create a poem.
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