Poetry can make kids cringe and run in the other direction.
You know it’s true.
But you can make it a lot less painful for them and even fun with a few simple tweaks to your curriculum.
Take it outside. Give them something to look forward to. Choose the right poems. Done.
Okay, not done. Let me tell you how to create a poetry experience they won’t dash away from.
I learned more about rabbits reading Watership Down than I have by raising them. I have read it several times, and each time I fall in love all over again.
My first reading was as a young teen. I didn’t really grasp the political implications and the social commentary until I read it again in my twenties. I can’t say I enjoyed the story more because of understanding it better, but I did find the reading a deeper experience.
My boys fell in love with Richard Adams’ classic book many years ago. And I learned to read it as a child again. Because, in Adam’s own words,“I’ve always said that Watership Down is not a book for children. I say: it’s a book, and anyone who wants to read it can read it.” For him, it’s just a story, not meant to be a parable or an allegory or any of the things we crazy scholars accuse it of being.
It’s best enjoyed as just that–a wonderful, action-packed, astounding story.
In this house, we go tharn when we are shocked, scared, or speechless. Our rabbits go to silflay when we let them out of their cages. And we’re always on the lookout for Owsla.
The Secret Garden has always been one of my favorite stories. In fact, my sister claims that I married my beautiful husband because I finally found my Dickon.
She may be onto something.
Another book that practically screams at you to go outside, The Secret Garden is so full of plant and wildlife it could quite literally spawn a whole semester (or year) of science lessons.
Plus, it’s a totally mysterious and uplifting story that rocks my socks off.
Alice in Wonderland is a perfect summertime read. Whimsical and action-packed, it’s a kid-pleaser that won’t feel like they’re ho-humming their way through classic literature.
There’s so much fun to be had with this book, and it’s brilliant for reading together under a shade tree. If you struggle with Carroll’s poetry or made-up words, keep Google close by to help you translate. Our favorites are Twinkle, Twinkle Little Bat (because the Hatter is my Alice in Wonderland Boyfriend) and the Lobster Quadrille (because Will you Won’t you? Will You Won’t You? Will you join the dance?).
I’m telling you, my friends, this stuff is fun. F.U.N. And we’re about to make it even funner.