As we build an environment where enthusiasm for poetry will flourish, we can consider what poet Georgia Heard calls “poetry rituals.” These are poetry traditions that provide a natural way to incorporate poetry into pre-existing routines and special occasions. They give children something to look forward to and in many cases provide opportunities for child participation. One excellent resource for finding “occasional” poetry is Lee Bennett Hopkins’ new book, Days to Celebrate: A Full Year of Poetry, People, Holidays, History, Fascinating Facts, and More (Greenwillow, 2005). As Brountas (1995) has said, “Poetry is a lovely gift we give to children that appreciates in value and lasts throughout their lifetime.” Here is a list of possible poetry celebration occasions and ideas.
The list begins:
1. Invite children to perform their own poem readings on the last Friday of the month (or other set day) as a Poetry Friday event, popular in the children’s literature world. Create a coffee house setting with tablecloths, bongos, and a microphone for fun. Record some of the readings for a homemade listening center.
For more details, get your copy of The Poetry Teacher’s Book of Lists.
And if you already have the book and would like to offer additions, corrections, or other input, please do so in the COMMENTS area. Thanks!