Wednesday, April 2, 2008

How are you celebrating National Poetry Month??

April is National Poetry Month, so today in After School Adventures, we celebrated poetry. We always pull books for the kids to browse while they wait for the program to start, so I pulled a bunch of poetry books. Two popular ones I noticed the kids poring over were Blackbeard the Pirate and Animal Snackers.

We started by reading the picture book I Know Two Who Said Moo by Judi Barrett. This is a nonsensical rhyming book that rhymes each number with a ridiculous number of words. Crazy pictures accompany and the kids loved picking out the details in the pictures. You can also challenge the kids to see how many words they can think of that rhyme with "two" or "seven".

We also shared some of our favorite poems. I read a few from the book Who Swallowed Harold by Susan Pearson. My favorite one is called "Do Goldfish Pee?" and I challenged them not to laugh (they couldn't do it). All the poems in this collection are about pets and although they asked for funny ones, I think they liked the not-funny ones, too. I also shared some poems from Douglas Florian's Mammalabilia because I love Douglas Florian.

B broke out the uke and we sang "Miss Mary Mack" with the kids joining in on the repeated parts. They like to be silly about it and I think they got really into it. We sang it normally twice and then we sang it superfast.

Then it was time for our craft. We have wonderful volunteers who cut out hundreds of typed words and we made a kind of "magnetic" poetry activity. Each kid had a piece of construction paper and could choose words to glue to their paper to make a nonsensical poem. We stressed that it didn't have to rhyme and it didn't have to make sense... in fact, the sillier the better! We realized that we didn't know if all the kids could read yet, so we also cut out pictures from discarded magazines so the kids could collage and decorate their poems.

The kids came up with great poems, very funny and silly, and they looked great all decorated with the magazine pictures. The kids at our program were grades K-2nd, but I think this craft would be great for older kids, too. Last year we hung a magnetic board in our Teen Zone and provided magnetic poetry for the middle schoolers to play with, which was also a big hit. We certainly had fun celebrating National Poetry Month and I hope you do, too!