|Photo courtesy ToniVC via Foter|
Silvia Vardell's blog, Poetry for Children, is a powerhouse of information. Her Poet Links list will introduce you to active children's writers you may not know. Perhaps you'll find one whose work delights your children. And you.
This page from the University of Lethbridge in Alberta suggests numerous books and websites on teaching poetry, as well as ideas for teaching and enjoying poetry. Developed by the Curriculum Laboratory, the page offers ideas for classroom centers, which homeschooling families could easily adapt. I especially like the prompts to spark an interest in children writing poetry of their own. Some of the listed websites and books are more pedagogically philosophical than necessary for my purposes, but lurking underneath this veneer are great suggestions and inspiration. I loved discovering Georgia Heard and her books!
Don't miss Poets.org, the website of the Academy of American Poets. Its drop-down menu, For Educators, provides a wealth of information, tips, resources, and plans. The site is also a good source for poet bios. I enjoyed the audio files of poets reading their own work. Hearing Robert Frost read "The Road Not Taken" or Dylan Thomas read "Do Not Go Gentle Into that Good Night" is a not-to-be-missed experience.
Teaching Student to Write and Read Poetry, a free ebook published by Jefferson County (KY) Public Schools for high school-aged students, is available here. I downloaded the PDF file and have only glanced at the contents, but I have high hopes based on my first look.
The Poetry Foundation website has a children's poetry section (look under the Resources drop-down menu) with book picks, a poem of the day, and articles on children's poetry. Here's the article that caught my eye: "Home Appreciation," about -- you guessed it -- homeschoolers and poetry. The website offers a FREE poetry app, too. And the Learning Lab (also under Resources) is packed with helpful and useful content.
While you're making your plans for next year, take some time to explore poetry. These resources can help you hone in on poets, explore poetry teaching methods, and discover family favorites. As always, use your discretion in making poetry choices for your family. What suits one family may not suit another.
This list is by no means exhaustive, nor was it meant to be. Use it as a springboard for your own poetry adventure. Click links and Google book titles (or poets or poem titles) to see what you might find. I found this poem at the Poetry Foundation website. I liked it, and perhaps you will, too:
The Ocracoke Ponies
by Jennifer Grotz
No one saw the first ones
swim ashore centuries ago,
nudged by waves into the marsh grasses.
When you look into their faces, there is no trace
of the ship seized with terror, the crashing waves
and the horses’ cries when thrown overboard.
Every afternoon you ride your bicycle to the pasture
to watch the twitch of their manes and ivory tails
unroll a carpet of silence, to see ponies lost in dream.
But it isn’t dream, that place
your mind drifts to, that museum of memory
inventoried in opposition to the present.
You felt it once on a plane,
taking off from a city you didn’t want to leave,
the stranded moment when the plane lifts into the clouds.
That’s not dream, it’s not even sleeping.
It is the nature of sleeping to be unaware.
This was some kind of waiting for the world to come back.