We've spent some time focusing on poetry over the last several weeks. We enjoy reading poetry pretty regularly; Shel Silverstein and Jack Prelutsky are favorites around here. Recently we've done some fun writing exercises, creating our own poems, and even some acting, creating some silly dramatizations of poems as well.
Today I drew ideas from Rose, How Did You Get That Red, by Kenneth Koch, a book about teaching children to write poetry, using classic poems as inspiration. Shout out to my Aunt Linda for the book - she was kind enough to get me a copy. It is fantastic.
We read The Tyger, by William Blake
Tyger Tyger, burning bright,
In the forests of the night;
What immortal hand or eye,
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?
The whole poem is a lot of fun to read, but it does have language that children don't usually understand immediately. We spent some time talking about many of the stanzas, thinking about what the words meant and what the author was trying to say.
Then they set about writing their own poems. As suggested by Koch in "Rose, How Did You Get That Red," I suggested we imagine we were talking to a creature or thing, and had the chance to ask it questions. The subject could answer back, or not, it was their choice.
I love what they came up with this morning; I just had to share.
Ice and Water, by Grayson (age almost-7)
Ice, ice, why are you so hard?
Why aren't you soft, like water?
Water, water, why are you soft?
Why can't you be hard like ice?
Water, water, why can't you hold a hammer?
And make ice sculptures.
Why are you liquid?
The Sun, by David (age 9)
Sun, sun, why so bright?
Sun, sun come out at night.
Shine your rays upon the night.
Do you fall asleep at night?
Like a flower, gleam and glow,
In the spring, melt the snow.
Why so yellow and so bright?
You are light.
Aren't those just lovely? Ok, I am biased (just a little), but I thought they were both really sweet. I'm proud of their hard work today!