Tuesday 8 October 2013

Poetry and young children

Young children appreciate rhyme and simple poems. I've written about ways we enjoy poetry.

This autumn, I wanted to start the younger two, aged 4 and almost 7, learning a poem. My aim is that they learn a short poem each half term which gives about 6-8 weeks per poem. Whether we manage this remains to be seen!

The criteria for the poems are that they must be short, with a clear rhyme and relevant to the children. We aren't aiming for the whole of Gray's Elegy! The first poem that I chose was Eleanor Farjeon's  poem, Cat's sleep anywhere.

This is short, easy to memorise and relevant to my children.

Both children have enjoyed this and Younger Daughter will quote this around the house when she finds the cats sleeping, anywhere but their basket.

In November, after half term, we hope to revisit Robert Frost's poem, Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening. This is already familiar to the children from when we studied this as a Five in a Row book almost two years ago. I don't think that they can recite the poem now but the familiarity should make it easier to learn.

Do you have favourite poems to learn with younger children?


  1. I homeschool 4 of my grandchildren. Three of them are close together in age - 6, 8, and 9. We do a lot of school together. Poetry is one of them. It is usually part of our school beginning, along with a Bible story and singing. I have a 3-ring binder of poems that I have written or printed out. (We do have poetry books, but these poems are our favourites.) We will say 3 or 4 poems each time. It does not take long for even the youngest to memorize a poem this way. This year I have begun a new fun thing for the girls. We have Tea and Poetry on Tuesdays at the beginning of school. I get out my best china. I serve apple juice in the tea cups. We have a cookie with our "tea". We learn about good table manners and one of them reads or recites a couple of poems. When it is my turn, I read about 6 or 7. It is a highlight of the week and they treat my china with great respect, although I have to admit I am a bit nervous about it.

    Myra, from Canada, where fall is upon us and the trees are becoming bare.

    1. Myra, your poetry tea sounds like such fun. My younger two would love this. Thank you for visiting.

  2. What a lovely activity. We love to recite poetry, and the psalms are great to learn too!

    1. Thank you. Reading your comment, I realised that I hadn't counted the Psalms as we learn Scripture at a separate time in the day. We should integrate some Psalms during our poetry time.