It is amazing to me how much poetry can be taught in two hours, with ten children and two moms! Today was our first Poetry Learning Camp and I started out by asking the children what poetry is. They talked about rhyme, rhythm and the language of poetry. Then I read to them some very interesting poems. Diverse poems. Poems that really didn’t have any rhyme or rhythm to speak of. I had run off this variety of poems to refer to. We continued to try and come up with a definition and finally I read them this one.
I gave them all poetry folders and prior to the session I wrote the numbers 1-6 in random folders. I had 6 different poetic terms that I had cut into flash cards that were from this site. I had the children come up and read the term, the given example and then I asked for examples from the group.
Next we moved on to Rhyme Scheme. I had written several poem stanza’s up on the white board ahead of time. I tried to pick ones with a varied Rhyme Scheme. I talked about Elizabethan and Shakespearean Sonnets having an ababcdcdefefgg scheme. We also spoke about ballads being abcb and Limericks being aabba. I then read the poems out loud and the children told me which letters to add for the rhyme scheme.
Next I had them write sense poems from 20 Days of Poetry. I gave them about 15 minutes to complete and several of them did finish. I even had one brave girl read her poem to us all! It was very well done!!
Next, I had the children analyze the poem Dreams by Langston Hughes. I read the poem and then read them a biography about Langston Hughes from this site. I then had them get in pairs and fill out this sheet. They did a great job taking a look at this poem. When we got back together we discussed it and they had wonderful ideas about what the author was trying to tell us.
It felt like 20 minutes but my hour was up. Then our wonderful Drama mom took over and the children acted out several poems for the next hour.
She had a variety from Sonnets to The Cremation of Sam McGee by Robert Service. It was great to hear the children laughing and learning together!
What a blessing it is to be part of leading these camps!! Natalie