Saturday, 7 January 2017

A Poetry Feast

This is the second week of the 2017 Virtual Curriculum Fair. This is a five week series of posts from a variety of different bloggers around various areas in home education. Last week's post about Starting the Day Well and with links to all the other week one posts can be found here. This week's topic is Playing with Words: the Language Arts or what we would call in England, English or literacy. 

My post, this week, is about poetry in our home education. 

I have written about poetry previously
Ways to enjoy poetry and rhyme with young children
Poetry and Young Children
Poetry Resources

Nowadays, we have a special poetry slot at our weekly Poetry Tea. This is an idea from Brave Writer which now has a separate Poetry Teatime website.

We hold our poetry tea at the same time each week.  One of the children usually selects a recipe and makes a snack. We are trying, not always successfully, to pull away from sweet snacks but fruit and homemade sushi sandwiches have been popular.


The table is laid for Poetry Tea, sometimes, around a theme such as the season 
or an event such as Remembrance Day. Recently, we have often covered the table with lining paper and provided pens rather than using a table cloth. The idea is to encourage writing, doodling and general illustration of the poems. 
We often invite a friend or friends for Poetry Tea. Everyone attending has to choose a poem and either read this or have it read for them. Poems have been written for the occasion. 



On occasion, we have variations on Poetry Tea. We read Kipling at his house, Bateman's. There was the end of term treat with a new anthology and a visit to a cafe. We have had poetry picnics in various seasons!

We now have a large family anthology in which we write our favourite poems and poems written by the children. In retrospect, I would have used a smaller book. Our book is larger than A3 size and is difficult to manage on the table!


Benefits of Poetry Tea


  • Increasing awareness of rhyme
  • Becoming aware of some well known poems
  • Coming to love some poems
  • Repetition leading to increased understanding
  • Repeated reading leading to increases in fluency and skill in reading aloud. Dialogue poems have been really popular for this. Excuses is the favourite in this category and is read/recited weekly!
  • Writing poetry
  • Reading recipes
  • Conversations about themes in the poems. The discussions have sometimes lasted far longer than I anticipated.
Tips for Making Poetry Tea work
  • Some children like poems more than others-all have to sit for a snack, drink and listen to one poem from each person. 
  • Funny poems seem to appeal to those less keen.
  • I let the less enthusiatic disappear after the minimum expected while keener children can sit and discuss.
Poetry Suggestions
I have previously written about Poetry Resources. In addition to these, we also now use 
  • The Puffin Book of Utterly Brilliant Poetry
  • Secret Laughter by Walter de la Mare
  • Where the Poppies now grow by Hilary Robinson and Martin Impey. This is a picture book around a poem about the First World War.
  • The Nation's Favourite Poems-please note that this is not a children's book and not all the poems are suitable for a children's poetry tea. 
  • Over Hills and Dales: The Illustrated Poetry of the Natural World
Current Favourite Poems and their authors
  • Excuses Gareth Owen
  • Chocolate Cake Michael Rosen
  • Please Mrs Butler Allan Ahlberg
  • The race to get to sleep Brian Patten
  • On the Ning Nang Nong Spike Milligan
  • Henry VIII Eleanor and Herbert Farjeon
  • Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening Robert Frost
  • A Smugglers' Song Rudyard Kipling
  • Gran's XI John Kitching
  • In Flanders Fields John McCrae
  • A Dragon in the Classroom Charles Thomson
Please let me know about your children's favourite poems or anthologies. I have wondered about having some Poetry Teas around a particular author but haven't really done this yet, apart from a visit to Bateman's. I would love suggestions for themes and extensions to our teas.

Please visit my fellow homeschool bloggers who are writing about Playing with Words this week:

All posts will be live by Monday, January 9th at noon EST.
Delight Directed High School English by Susan @ Homeschooling Hearts & Minds
Act Your Part Well- 2017 VCF by Lisa @ Golden Grasses
The Search For Language by Michele@Family, Faith and Fridays
Our Top Picks for Language Arts by Amanda H @ Hopkins Homeschool
Multiple Approaches to Language Arts in 2017 by Laura @ Day by Day in Our World
How We Cover the Language Arts in Our Homeschool by Joelle @ Homeschooling for His Glory

Use Your Words by Laura @ Four Little Penguins
The Art of Perfecting Macarons by Jennifer @ A Glimpse of Our Life
Loving Languages Every Day by Jen K @ A Peace of Mind
Speech Therapy & Elementary Latin by Yvie @ Gypsy Road
The Readin' and Writin' Part of Homeschool by Shecki @ Greatly Blessed
Children Who Love Books by Lizzy @ Peaches At Home
Customizing High School Language Credits by Christy @ Unexpected Homeschool
A Poetry Feast by Sarah @ Delivering Grace
Teaching Language Arts without Curriculum by Brittney @ Mom's Heart
I know your pain and it is worth it! by Kim @ Good Sweet Love
Language Arts: Our Style by Annette @ A Net in Time
Words! Words! Words! by Lisa M @McClanahan 7
10 Wonderful Word Games (+1) by Lori @ At Home: where life happens

Finding the Right Words by Kym @ Homeschool Coffee Break
What About Reading Comprehension? by Kristen @ Sunrise to Sunset
Teaching Grammar and Writing Through Discussion by Chelli @ The Planted Trees



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10 comments:

  1. This is a wonderful, and quite timely, read for me! I have been wanting to introduce poetry in our home (thanks to Morning Time!) but wasn't sure where to begin. So many resources and recommendations here! We definitely know how to get started now. Perhaps the fun of poetry will even inspire some creative writing in them :-)

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  2. neat idea this :) I love poetry.

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  3. Thank you for sharing this---poetry tea time is something I've been thinking about trying to add to our homeschool.

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    1. Hope you enjoy your poetry tea time. It has been a big success here.

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  4. Poetry is near and dear to my heart! Have you looked at The Grammar of Poetry by Roman Roads Media? It is quite excellent! I reviewed it here: http://goldengrasses.blogspot.com/2014/04/grammar-of-poetry-review.html

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    1. No, I haven't be I have read your review. It sounds fantastic. I am sure that I would learn so much from this as well as my children!

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  5. We have friends in our homeschool group that offer a poetry and tea time once a month. We don't get to go often but we enjoy it greatly!
    Thank you for sharing your list of resources!

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