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Forms of poetry:
Narrative Poetry- tells a story
- Narrative poetry
- Often set to music
- Usually "ballad stanza" with 4 lines with 8 syllables each; lines 2 & 4 rhyme
Lyric poetry- describes feelings, etc.; language often has a musical quality
- Lines 1, 2 and 5 rhyme. Lines 3 and 4 rhyme.
- Usually humorous
- Lacks rhyme and has less predictable rhythm
- Words and phrases are arranged to capture and extend meaning by forming a picture
- Japanese form of poetry
- 17 syllables in three lines: first line, 5 syllables; second line 7 syllables; third line, 5 syllables. Usually has a nature theme.
- First Line: 2 syllables
- Second Line: 4 syllables
- Third Line: 6 syllables
- Fourth Line: 8 syllables
- Fifth Line: 2 syllables
- 14 lines with 10 syllables each
- Italian form: abba abba cde cde
- English form: abab cdcd efef gg
Award for Excellence in Poetry for Children
National Council of Teachers of English (U.S.)
Established 1977. Currently awarded every three years (every year until 1982). Announced at the Spring Conference of NCTE.
1997 - Eloise Greenfield
1994 - Barbara Juster Esbensen
1991 - Valerie Worth
1988 - Arnold Adoff
1985 - Lillian Moore
1982 - John Ciardi
1981 - Eve Merriam
1980 - Myra Cohn Livingston
1979 - Karla Kuskin
1978 - Aileen Fisher
1977 - David McCord
Ideas for Teaching
1. Read poems in class that students will enjoy.
2. Try to find poems that each child can relate to. One very effective way is to match kids up with poems based on their personal interests. Here are some that work well:
Kids who aren't exactly crazy about their brothers will enjoy "What My Parents Should Know about My Brother" by Bruce Lansky (Poetry Party).
Kids with a dog love "Dumb Dog" by Shirlee Curlee Bingham (A Bad Case of the Giggles).
Kids with a sibling they'd like to play dirty tricks on love "Sweet Dreams" by Joyce Armor (Kids Pick the Funniest Poems).
Kids whose bedrooms are a mess will enjoy "Where My Clothes Are" by Bruce Lansky (Poetry Party).
How to Cite this Page
"Poetry for Children." 123HelpMe.com. 06 Apr 2020
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Kids will enjoy reading "Birthday Advice" by Bruce Lansky (Happy Birthday to Me!) to a child in the class who is having a birthday.
3. Encourage kids to read poetry aloud, and/or recite it from memory. You can tell how well kids comprehend the poetry by the way they phrase and deliver it. Getting the whole class' attention (and applause) after the recitation will serve as a psychological reward for each child.
4. Give the "class clowns" a chance to use humor.
Ask your giggliest student to read "Doing Business" by Babs Bell Hajdusiewicz (Kids Pick the Funniest Poems). Don't be surprised if he or she cracks up in the middle of it.
Ask another giggly student to read "My Puppy Loves Showers" by Bruce Lansky (Kids Pick the Funniest Poems). See who giggles the most--the reader or the audience.
5. Solicit guest performances by parents and other classroom visitors.
6. Celebrate special occasions with poetry.
7. Read poetry in class regularly.
Read poetry every day, or as often as you can. Find poems that are appropriate for history, math, spelling, geography, and other subjects.